Review: Jose Ramirez – Bad Hombre – Live


Jose Ramirez - Bad Hombre - Live

Jose Ramirez – Bad Hombre – Live
Format: CD – Digital / Label: Blue Crawfish Records
Release: 2024

Text: Pascal Wilhelm

Latin Powerhouse Jose Ramirez is a rising star in the world of the blues. Still in his early 30’s, he is a mature player and singer, and the evidence is right here on this live record, his third after ‘Here I Come’ (2020) and ‘Major League Blues’ (2022), the latter released on the world renowned Delmark Blues label.

‘Bad Hombre – Live’ opens with The Hunter, a song written by Stax Records’ house band Booker T. and the MGs and Carl Wells (first recorded by Albert King).

One Woman Man is a warning to the ladies (because he is not), perhaps illustrating his Bad Hombre image? But no, I think Jose is an agreeable and faithful man. And funny too (at a few points on this record you hear the audience having lots of fun).

Obviously, Jose is influenced by the older bluesmen like B.B. King (his version of Sweet 16 on this record is convincing, he even hits the high vocal notes B.B. is famous for), Albert King, and Jimmy Johnson.

However, One Woman Man also shows that he must have been listening to Gary Clark Junior (same for Gotta Let You Go). Jose is well acknowledged as a blues man, the praise in the quotes by other musicians and critics on his website are evidence of that. And I think they are right. He is here to stay. He and his band have the ability to slowly build up a song and Jose dares to be vulnerable in his singing while his guitar playing reflects a high level of emotion (listen to As you can see).

To be honest, I find live records always a bit tough to listen to, in my living room I prefer to listen to produced or “live in the studio” records, the live sound is for the concert hall. But that is just me of course (Anyone who feels the same?).

But it was still a pleasure still to listen to this young rising star. Artists like Jose Ramirez show that the blues is progressing and continues to be a genre of importance.

01. The Hunter
02. Three Years
03. One Woman Man
04. Sweet 16
05. Here In The Delta
06. Help The Poor
07. Stop Teasing Me
08. As You Can See
09. I Lost The Right
10. Drown In My Own Tears
11. Gotta Let You Go