“Off Ramp Road Tramp” is the second song on Strawberry Alarm Clock‘s final album, Good Morning Starshine (1969). It’s another breathless blues-rock anthem with gravelly, passionate vocals and a stately 70s-rawk vibe. “Off Ramp Road Tramp” could almost have been a recording by Deep Purple.
The track is another notice to the record-buying public that the Clock was moving on from the saccharine orchestration and complex vocal harmonies of the previous album, 1968’s oft-misguided The World In A Sea Shell. From the very outset “Off Ramp Road Tramp” echoes Deep Purple’s “Hush” intro, with a few rousing stabs of drums ‘n’ guitar ‘n’ keyboard chords, before getting into the purposefully crude groove of the song proper. Lee Freeman really gives the vocals his all, and the band does its damnedest to match his exertions.
“Off Ramp Road Tramp” is another piece from the album with a simple structure, being more about heavy music than clever compositional sculptures. A harmonica wails from the dense undergrowth, a wah-wah guitar gets in some soloing, Mark Weitz contributes a nice keyboard solo, and there is even a short drum solo of sorts to end it — a very nicely done, slow ride-cymbal outro.
LP: Good Morning Starshine (1969)