We all have that person in our lives who exemplifies the work we do. For me, one of them is Bo Ramsey. Bo is a guitarist and producer. Bo is a bluesman. Bo is sincere, honest, and musically pure. He is tone, he is style, he is taste, he is skill, he’s a man of few notes and fewer words … Bo is music and mystery.
The moment I shared a stage with Bo back in 2008 I became a fan. He makes everything all right when he performs. He makes the most sense on the stage. It is where he belongs and where the context is fully realized. I had the opportunity to record with Bo a record called Red-winged Blackbird Man back in 2012. In that time I had a few lessons I believed in reinforced and expounded on: 1. Silence is an instrument if you want it to be. 2. Less words fall heavier than many. 3. Never sacrifice the root heart of the idea for the hearts of the many. Bo exemplifies these principles, and I have benefited from them tremendously.
I was excited to sit with him for this podcast. It has been awhile since we had spoke, and I knew deep within this quiet giant there were gems waiting to be mined. Jewels that fuel this musical icon’s ways and habits waited to be unearthed and polished. Though prepared to reap the rewards of the excavation I wasn’t prepared for his explanation of what performance is and why he does it. Performance is an opening of oneself, an opportunity for communion, a journey of true freedom and a pathway towards transcendence … It’s “church man!” I couldn’t agree more and take comfort knowing that this potential is real and lives in the hearts of those I look up to.
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