Scott Ramminger makes social commentary on “Rise Up”


Vocalist and saxophonist Scott Ramminger creates a mix of roots, r&b, and funk on “Rise Up,” his fifth album since 2011. Considered a sonic departure from his previous work, the album and particularly its title track, allow Ramminger to add his voice to the cadre of protest or social critique songs.

The idea behind “Rise Up” the album

Ramminger has stated that with “Rise Up” he was trying to make “a record with a slightly different sonic footprint.”

The sonic shift that Ramminger advocated was that he and his assembled players “should play less like a band at Blues Alley,” a popular Washington D.C. jazz club, and “more like a Brooklyn strip club” circa 1960.

Ramminger’s ensemble is small. Including himself, the group consists of five musicians: Wes Lanich on piano and Hammond B3, Shane Theriot on guitar, Paul Langosch on upright bass and Emre Katari on drums.

In addition to the sound, there is also the theme of the title track that is a bit of a departure for Ramminger. Inspired by protest songs of the past, from “Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud,” to “This Land is Your Land,” and “Blowing in the Wind” and his own feelings about the state of the world, Ramminger came up with “Rise Up,” the title track.

“Rise Up” by Scott Ramminger

The song stands out because of its up-to-the-minute lyrics and effective use of the Hammond B3 organ that adds a stylish weight to the song.

Ramminger and company pull off a social critique that is heavy on old school r&b elements, but whose lyrics remind listeners of everything the Western world has experienced in the last few years. The song calls for people to “wise up” and “rise up.”  And if people are not too busy clapping to the beat or dancing, they just might hear the message.

“Rise Up” by Scott Ramminger became available Mar. 4, 2019.

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Dodie Miller-Gould is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana who lives in New York City where she studies creative nonfiction at Columbia University. She has BA and MA degrees in English from Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, and an MFA in Fiction from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her research interests include popular music and culture, 1920s jazz, and blues, confessional poetry, and the rhetoric of fiction. She has presented at numerous conferences in rhetoric and composition, and creative writing. Her creative works have appeared in Tenth Muse, Apostrophe, The Flying Island, Scavenger's Newsletter and elsewhere. She has won university-based awards for creative work and literary criticism.

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