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Mason Ramsey

Famous – 2018 (Big Loud)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by Mason Ramsey

When considering Mason Ramsey, one is reminded of the idea that big things come in small packages. At 11, the Golconda, Ill. native has gained a far bigger audience than the nearby WalMart where a video of him singing and yodeling through Hank Sr. "Lovesick Blues" went viral big time. He parlayed that into a six-song EP with a heavy emphasis on Williams.

Typically decked out in a cowboy hat (that sets him apart right there from most other country acts today), Ramsey sounds about his age. With a bit of a high pitch, he sings just fine on each of the songs with a distinct drawl, but the main problem is that none of the songs are lyrically appropriate for someone his age either.

On "Famous," he sings, "if I'm going to be famous for somethin', I wanna be famous for lovin' you." The Hank songs ("Lovesick Blues," "Jamabalaya (On the Bayou") and "I Saw the Light") are either about being in love, partying Cajun style or being a hellraiser, who has accepted the Lord.

Ramsey gets a bit swampy with the propulsive "Yo Da Lady Who." "The Way I See It" percolates musically and vocally, but lyrics like "If we're talking 'bout heaven, this night already been/Baby, you and me forever, that's the way I see it" are a head scratcher.

Label founder Joey Moi, who has produced Florida Georgia Line, handled the chores here, and he brings out the best in Ramsey's talents while giving the music enough bite, but maintaining Ramsey's traditional vibe. Hey, there's even pedal steel and fiddle. No need to mess with what Ramsey made a viral hit to begin with.

Ramsey may have a ken for music of yesterday. Yet, he is already "Famous" thanks to the modern world. Now, if the lyrics could only match someone his youthfulness.