'Our brother's keeper'
Benefit for beloved blues guitarist Kid Ramos to feature the Blasters, Delgado Brothers, the Blazers, Los Fabulocos many more at Nick’s Taste of Texas Sunday
By Bliss Bowen 10/04/2012
What goes around comes around: Since electric blues guitarist Kid Ramos hit the road with a legendary incarnation of James Harman’s band in 1980, he’s performed at countless benefits for fellow artists and others — and this Sunday many will return the favor by performing at a benefit for him.
The Fullerton-raised Ramos, who commands deep respect throughout the blues and roots community, was recently diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of cancer. The extensive treatment is brutalizing as well as expensive, so a host of benefits are being organized to raise funds to help defray his medical expenses, including two in Belgium and Italy. This Sunday, the Blasters, the Delgado Brothers, the Blazers, Los Fabulocos, Mike Eldred Trio, Dale Peterson, Tremoloco, Miguel Garcia & the Vaquetones will gather to perform on Ramos’ behalf at Nick’s Taste of Texas.
“Everybody’s responding out of respect and love for Kid,” says Mike Molina of Los Fabulocos, who are helping to organize Sunday’s event. “He had his first treatment on Monday, and he sounds good. He’s planning on making it [to the benefit] if he can.
“His sister survived cancer, his brother survived cancer, and he’s looking to add his name to the list. Juke Logan, Candye Kane — a lot of people in the music community are surviving it. A lot of it is through the support of one another and the fans that support them.”
In addition to his tenure in Harman’s band, Ramos’ packed resume also includes touring and/or recording with the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Roomful of Blues and the Mannish Boys. His 2000 album “West Coast House Party,” one of that year’s best blues releases, captured his vitality and rollicking sound and boasted a starry roll call of blues and roots heavyweights: Harman, Big Sandy, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Rick Holmstrom, James Intveld, Janiva Magness, Fabulous Thunderbirds bandmate Kim Wilson, Duke Robillard, Lynwood Slim, Stephen Hodges, Rusty Zinn, Jeff Turmes and Junior Watson. In recent years, Ramos has become something of a mentor to up-and-coming bands like the 44’s.
“Once when we were on tour, I saw a bunch of truck drivers pull over to the side of the road and they all came out running with extinguishers,” Molina comments. “Then I saw this other trucker’s brakes were on fire. I said, ‘Wow, that’s camaraderie right there, those guys are looking out for one another.’ That’s kind of what we do as musicians. Somebody has a need and we rush in for one another; as a community, we come together.”
Benefit for Kid Ramos with performances by the Blasters, the Delgado Brothers, the Blazers, Los Fabulocos, Mike Eldred Trio, Dale Peterson, Tremoloco, Miguel Garcia & the Vaquetones at Nick’s Taste of Texas, 545 N. Citrus Ave., Covina, 1-9 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7; $12 suggested donation. Info: (626) 331-2824. To make a donation to the fund for Ramos, visit http://kidramos.chipin.com/kid-ramos-medical-fund