"Michael Ramos - Cakewalk's master musician - leans toward electrified cumbias... he dabbles with a variety of Latin rhythms, bending, zapping, and shape-shifting to create a blazingly distinctive sound."- Austin Chronicle
"Ramos transforms all the music he's played and has grown up with into a unique synthesis that blows apart preconceptions."- Dave Marsh
It’s been 5 jam packed years since the last Charanga Cakewalk album was released. El Brown Recluse ( out now on Cosmica Records) is the joyous result of Founder Michael Ramos and company’s hard work and perseverance. The return of Charanga Cakewalk marks the project’s first album since Ramos became a husband, a first-time father and now film-scorer. Here’s a quick overview:
Michael Ramos now has three Charanga Cakewalk albums under his belt and a lifetime of experience being a much sought after sideman with the likes of John Mellencamp, Patti Griffith, the BoDeans, Los Lonely Boys, and recently Robert Plant. Ramos’ musical career continues to be paved: Movie Score Composer, Live Performer, and Producer. Michael has created a musical/creative haven- his new studio Brown Recluse, where he scored 4 projects: Hector Galan’s Migrant’s Masterpiece and Latin Rhythms both for PBS, the indie film Ya Basta and now a complete score for the Mexican silent film El Tren Fantasma (which debuted to a packed house at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Austin, TX this past August 13th). Now on September 27 El Brown Recluse hits the street. The record has the depth of previous records, but also brings in a fresh new sensibility from Michael that sees participation from artists/friends such as David Garza, Gecko Turner, Brian Ramos (Master Blaster Sound System), and more.
I am constantly trying to push my personal envelope
farther than before. Putting El Brown Recluse together was no different. On this effort I decided to enlist the talents of close friends and of those that I respect and wanted to work with. It was wonderful having a sounding board throughout the recording and mixing process. The challenge of working with others was branching out and expounding on their influences while still retaining my presence and identity. Only time will tell whether or not I succeeded in achieving that. In the end, I had a blast... and I love this collection of songs and musicians.
Joining Michael in the live incarnation of Charanga Cakewalk are musical peers: Brian Ramos (vocals) the original lead singer for Grupo Fantasma and now Master Blaster Sound System. Jacob Owen (guitar) is another highly sought after guitarist/composer currently based out of Austin, TX. He plays with several national touring artists (including Sahara Smith) in various genres ranging from modern latin to experimental jazz. Kyle Thompson (drums & percussion), originally from Dallas, now resides in Austin, Tx where he is in demand as a sideman and session player. Mr. Thompson has played with such musicians as Ravi Coltrane, Eric Johnson and the late Al Grey of the Count Basie Orchestra as well as countless Austin area musicians. Alan Uribe (bass), is one of Austin’s hottest young bass players on the scene today. Playing in bands and projects ranging from jazz, latin, to rock- he has already made a big impression. John “El John” Nelson (Thievery Corporation) on percussion, Alex Marrero (percussion & guitar) and Claude McCan (keyboards) round up the lineup.
The band hit the west coast late last year at the Levitt Pavilion in Pasadena AND MacArthur park to preview the new long-player live. The crowds were enraptured by Charanga’s concoction of latin, indie, lounge, and most importantly- dance elements seamlessly infused. The band is poised to return to Los Angeles and throughout the U.S. in the next few months to support the release of El Brown Recluse-OUT NOW on Cosmica Records.