Ramsay Midwood is a jumble of experiences and ideas that don’t quite fit together right. His music isn’t square, with the edges trim and symmetrical. No, it’s as rough and real as his voice, with jagged bits that stick out and draw attention. No samples, no robot machine beats, no quantization: The sound of Ramsay Midwood is dust, brush, stone, and scrub, as timeless and American as music can be.
It’s all that … and a little strange to boot. Consider what the London edition of TIME OUT had to say about Midwood’s style: It’s “rambling, roughhewn, and bluesy – but bluesy like Beefheart, Dylan, or Waits. Magnificent stuff – a dark and rustic hillbilly boogie shot through and through with spit and grit and pith and bile.”
ROOTS HIGHWAY (Italian) insisted that: “Ramsay Midwood is bound to conquer all the attention of the outsiders category.” Not to be outdone KULTUR (Swedish) observed: “it is stripped-down, raw and low down.”
Ramsay Midwood is following the footsteps of American artists who get noticed first by folks from far away. Maybe it takes some detachment to recognize the genius of artist next door, who has connected with that pool of myth and mystery, hallucination and hyperbole, hope and despair, that nourishes our culture’s music and poetry.
Midwood’s performance is heavy with the tradition, yet weightless as well with what some other European writer once called the “lightness of being.” It tells stories of odd characters, sometimes in language that’s fairly clear and sometimes obscure. All of it hits somewhere deep, not as cheap-shot patriotism but as something more enduring and important.
Now based out of Austin, Texas, Midwood has been touring around the world with such artists as Blind Boys of Alabama, The Gourds, Randy Weeks, Mike Stinson and Mike Nicolai. He has since finished his highly anticipated follow-up record titled "Popular Delusions and the Madness of Cows" and has released it on his own label Farmwire Records.