Ruben Ramos A Class Act (Revolution)

A Class Act (Revolution)

Record Reviews

Ruben Ramos

A Class Act (Revolution)

El Gato Negro is on a roll. Pictured on the back of his latest Class Act grinning like a Cheshire cat, East Austin's Tex-Mex maestro hoists his one-seventh share of 1998-99's Los Super Seven booty with glee. Considering A Class Act outclasses the local singer's previous classy LPs while holding its own with the all-star supergroup's eponymous recording, one trusts the Recording Academy (or whatever) will remember Ramos' latest when Grammy time rolls around again. Boasting a bandstand heavy with horns -- two trumpets, two trombones, three saxophones -- as well as duets with local LS7 alums Rick Trevino and Flaco Jiménez, A Class Act sounds big-budget, even as much of his competition comes off like two Casio keyboards and a bad exchange rate on the peso. Big difference, and here the production punch fills out Ramos' traditional sound. The airy, lilting "Vivir Sin Aire," whose brass and reed chorus turns yearning into reverie; Flaco's familiar, accordion-driven antics on "Pedacito de Mi Vida"; a two-stepping, horn-blown duet of "Oye Compadre" with Ruben's brother Alfonso; and the old-timey ballad "Estoy Pensando en Ti" deserve fans of the Buena Vista Social Club seeking out some Spanish delicacies here on the northern half of the Americas. A cover of Kris Kristofferson's "Un Dia a la Vez" caps off A Class Act like an album track from a hoped-for Los Super Seven sophomore effort. Until that occurs, El Gato Negro will just have to make do with his one measly Grammy!


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Phases & Stages
Badi Assad
Live shot

David Lynch, June 30, 2006

Phases & Stages
Don't Mess With La Musica De Tejas
Don't Mess With Texas Music, Volume Two
Don't Mess With La Musica de Tejas, Don't Mess With the Music of Texas, Volume Two (Record Review)

David Lynch, Feb. 4, 2005

More by Raoul Hernandez
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Aubrey Hays, Rod Gator, and the Bright Light Social Hour headline our recommended shows

Sept. 22, 2023

Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
HAAM Day, Ron Carter, and Pecan Street Festival lead our recommended shows

Sept. 15, 2023

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle