Rag-mama-Rag Same Ol Day

Rag Mama Rag: Some Ol’ Day

(Self Released)


Out Now

Not strictly a new release but as Rag Mama Rag are touring the UK next month, their latest LP is ripe for rediscovery. Louder Than War’s Craig Chaligne reviews.

The husband and wife duo of Deborah and Ashley Row have been performing together since 1991. Through hard craft and excellent musicianship they have built a dedicated following in the UK where they tour regularly. “Some Ol’ Day” released in 2016 is their latest studio release and features originals penned by Ashley as well as a covers from great bluesmen of the past. Carefully recorded in their home studio in southern France, this record displays a richness in its arrangements that is quite spellbinding. The blues genre can be a bit dry to the ear sometimes but Rag Mama Rag always manage to keep it entertaining and (dare we say) catchy.

“Mean old Lonesome Blues” opens the album on a high note, driven by Ashley’s energetic picking, the melody is highlighted by Deborah’s Harmonica.  With a percussive approach that recalls the great Brownie McGhee, the title track proves to be a highlight with a great vocal from Ashley. Popularized by the great Ry Cooder, Blind Alfred Reed’s “How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live” starts with a beautiful intro of layered steel and acoustic guitars. Robert Wilkins’ “Old Jim Cannan’s” and Blind Blake’s “Georgia Bound” both have a ragtime feel while the sparse “Need You By My Side” penned by Ashley is a poignant love song where Deborah’s tasteful harmonica works wonders. On what would have been Side B of the LP, the album takes a bluesier turn with a trio of originals penned by Ashley that includes a biting commentary piece titled “Fracking Man” which feels as relevant today as it would have been if it had been penned two centuries ago. “Caution To The Wind” features another great Ashley vocal while an energetic on Robert Johnson’s “Stop Breaking Down” sees Deborah put her washboard to good use.

Rag Mama Rag Tour Dates:

February 2019

13 The Wight Bear Ale House, 65 Southbourne Grove, Bournemouth BH6
3QU Tel: 01202 433 733

14 Saxon Bar, The Saxon Centre, 5, Fountain Roundabout, Christchurch
BH23 1QN Tel: 01202 488931

15 Milverton Music, The Victoria Rooms, Fore Street, Milverton,
Taunton, Somerset, TA4 1JU Tel: 01823 400416 for info or tickets
or email milvertonmusic@f2s.com


16 The Brasenose Arms, Station Rd, Cropredy, Banbury OX17 1PW Tel:
01295 750244

17 The Bell Inn, 103 Walcot St, Bath BA1 5BW Tel: 01225 460426 –

18 The Norman Knight, Ascott Rd, Whichford, Shipston-on-Stour, CV36 5PE. Tel:01608 684 621

23 The Stratten Arms, Main St, Turweston, Brackley NN13 5JX, UK. Tel:
1280 704956

24 The Bricklayers Arms, 39-41 Chevening Rd, Chipstead, Sevenoaks TN13
2RZ. Tel: 01732 743424 – CONCERT at 6pm

28 The Quaker Meeting House, Brook Street, Great Bardfield, Braintree, Essex, CM7 4RQ at 8pm
Tickets Phone 07579 006027

March 2019

02 Milford Blues Night, Community Centre, Sea Road, Milford -On-Sea,
Hampshire SO410PH Tel: 01590 644861 or email long.boblong@gmail.com

06 Dusty`s Blues Club, Holmer Green Sports Association, Watchett
Lane,Holmer Green, nr High Wycombe, Bucks HP15 6U Tel: 01494 711485 (eve, bar). www.dustys.biz

07 Wivenhoe Folk Club, Royal British Legion hall on the Quay,
Wivenhoe.CO7 9BX. https://www.facebook.com/wivenhoefolkclub

08 New Crawdaddy Blues Club, Waterfront Walk, Basildon SS14 3DG, UK.
Tel: 01702 347007. https://newcrawdaddyclub.co.uk/

09 Kings Head, 132 High St, Bildeston, Ipswich IP7 7ED, Tel: 01449
741434 https://www.bildestonkingshead.co.uk

10 The Hope Tavern, Caistor Rd, Holton le Moor, Market Rasen LN7 6AH
Tel: 01673 828217 https://www.hope-tavern.co.uk/home/original-sunday-blues

14 Bowes Music Club, Bowes & Gilmonby Village Hall, Bowes,
Barnard Castle DL12 9HR, UK

15 Reeth Memorial Hall, Arkengarthdale Road, Reeth, North Yorkshire,
DL11 6QT

16 Stoke Golding Village Hall, Hall Drive, Stoke Golding, Nuneaton,
CV13 6EA

17 Blues at the Red, Red Lion, 80 High St, Stevenage SG1 3DW 8:30 –
11:00 https://www.facebook.com/bluesatthered/


More info on Rag Mama Rag can be found at their official website: www.rag-mama-rag.com. They are also on Facebook and Twitter.

All words by Craig Chaligne. More from Craig can be found at his Author Archive. He tweets at @ChaligneCraig

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