Curt Ramm is excited to announce the release of the fourth single ‘Pontchartrain’ off his stellar and critically acclaimed island influenced, Reggae instrumental album Rogue Island. The new song mixes Curt’s swinging horns with classic reggae riffs to create an ode to the Big Easy and the resilience of the city. The forthcoming album is due out July 2nd on Rocktorium Records. Catch the new song here.
The port city of New Orleans was hit by one of the largest storms and most devastating in history, Hurricane Katrina. Curt Ramm recalls, "In 2006, following hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, I was asked to play the Jazz Fest with Bruce Springsteen and the Seeger Sessions Band. When we arrived, it was easy to see the devastation that was brought down on the city.” He continues, “ I was able to take a contemplative walk around the downtown area and you could feel not only deep loss and sorrow, but also hope and confidence that the people of New Orleans would rebuild and once again celebrate their own style of jazzy, bluesy music.”
Inspired by the heart and soul of the city, Curt says, “They did rebuild - and my interpretation of both that sorrow and hope is what I tried to capture in ‘Pontchartrain.” Charlie Giordano from the E-Street band joins me on piano and accordion on this track, and together we bring a bit of the NOLA Jazz vibe to the song."
Other notable musicians on the new single,“Pontchartrain” is the Wailers own Aston Barrett Jr. Ray Gennari, producer and label owner, recalls, “ If someone had started with a plan for how this track ended up- with Aston Barrett Jr from the Wailers and Curt and Charlie Giordano from the E Street Band on the same song, a moment where the guitars start to dub out into a far delay and then a mournful accordion enters, a mash of roots Reggae and New Orleans Jazz, Curt's plunger solo that just explodes from seemingly nowhere- it would have just seemed crazy. But this song is just so hauntingly beautiful and moving, it is definitely more than a sum of its parts. I absolutely love everything about it.”
Curt Ramm is one of the preeminent horn players in rock and roll. As well as being an in-demand studio session player, Curt’s playing has kept him very busy over the years with electrifying live performances throughout the US, Europe and Japan. Some of his recording and performance credits include Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Bruce Springsteen Sessions Band, Nile Rodgers and CHIC, They Might Be Giants, Radiohead, The Levon Helm Band, Glen Hansard and Little Steven.
With live performance on hold during the pandemic, Curt started working with his long time friend and Rhode Island Music Hall of Famer, producer, musician, Ray Gennari ( Akae Beka (Midnite), Turbulence, Protoje, Roomful Of Blues, The Temptations, Lustre Kings Productions) to orchestrate and play instrumental versions of songs by reggae artist Clatta Bumboo that Ray had produced. “This collaboration was a joy and a success,” says Curt, “and with the pandemic at its peak, as a way to keep playing and have some fun, Ray and I started to create new songs, similar in style to what I had worked on with Clatta's Project.”
Unable to gather and perform with other musicians due to pandemic restrictions, Curt Ramm and Ray Gennari took a different and unusual approach to the recording process of Rogue Island. Tapping into Ray's recording experience with notable reggae artists they reimagined drum tracks from Aston Barrett, Jr. (The Wailers) and Brady Robinson (Pentateuch Movement) from earlier Rocktorium Records projects, and the heart of Rogue Island was born.
Curt recalls “Ray would play bass, guitar, and some keyboard parts to set up the arrangement and vibe, and send the track to me to write horn melodies and background brass parts. We bounced the ideas back and forth, sometimes three or four times - changing the form, adding a bridge, and deciding on endings. Being unable to work together in the studio in person, we talked constantly on the phone until the song was feeling complete.”
Reflecting back on the process, Curt comments, “Ray and I were both thankful to have a fun and creative escape from the pressures of the pandemic, and the few people we had shared our creations with really loved the positive and uplifting vibe of the songs.”
“We are so proud and excited to be releasing Curt Ramm's Rogue Island. To work with such an incredible musician was an honor and a joy, especially on such an amazing record,” comments Ray Gennari, album producer and owner of Rocktorium Records.
Rogue Island is due out July 2nd, pre-save the new album here: https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/curtramm/rogue-island and signed CDs and digital downloads are available now at Curtramm.com
1. “Smuggler's Cove”
2. “Full Boat”
6. “Surfer's End”
7. “Blue Wave”
8. “Dancehall Dreams”
9. “Everyday Beach”
11. “From The Baseline” Clatta Bumboo feat. Curt Ramm