When I heard that someone was going to attempt to cover Paul McCartney’s Ram, I was skeptical, to understate. Ram is one of my favourite non-Beatles albums by a Beatle, in contention alone with All Things Must Pass. To take on such a project, an artist would have to be filled with foolishness or musical zeal – or perhaps a hearty serving of both. In either case, the artist that tried this would have to have a musical background versatile enough to battle just the thought of McCartney’s career.
The gregariously multi-project-bound Dave Depper might be one of Portland’s best bets for such an endeavor. Taking a month to himself and starting with “Heart of The Country”, Dave dove right into The Ram Project. The skill behind Dave’s guitar, piano, drums, and Paulesque vocals were never a question. From the opening tenor-stretch of “Too Many People” to the extended growling end of “Monkberry Moon Delight” and back to the scatting interlude of “Heart of the Country”, Depper is spot on. The biggest question that loomed over listening to this record was the soul behind it. Would Dave, along with the darling Joan Hiller, really be able to transform into Paul & Linda?
As I let The Ram Project play in the background while I went about my days listening to the album, I was (and also, wasn’t) surprised to find that I would get lost in those lulling copies from Ram. I honestly must admit that the echo from another room of Dave’s voice hanging in the air during “Long Haired Lady” sparked such a feeling that made me forget that it wasn’t Paul behind the microphone.
Musical zeal and a lot less foolishness than you’d expect, the well-traveled notes of Ram couple perfectly with Dave’s well carved collection of past projects. It amazes me that it was just a month he took to record every part alone, but after looking at his musical experience it’s not surprising. He just rammed on and did it. And did a damned good job. - Mike Harper (review also featured on Words Cut Open)