Who is Ritz Carlton? Where does he come from? We wish we could tell you.
We ask Ritz this question nearly every week, and he gives us the pat answer, “Umm, alright, my man, let me get back to you on that.”
Here’s what we can tell you… Have you heard of the band Los Straightjackets? Ritz showed up as their merch man (we’re not joking) on several tours over the last decade. The Straightjackets are an instrumental band, so they’d bring Ritz on stage to sing a few songs at every show, and he blew the crowd away. They went berserk for Ritz!
He then enlisted Hollywood, California’s stellar merchants of beat, the Outta Sites, to back him on occasion — in addition to touring Europe as an instrumentalist in the band, playing bass. Who knew Ritz could play bass?!
After heading to the East Coast, Ritz formed his own backing band, featuring a bunch of musical ringers from the retro rock-n-roll scene. He’s since popped up, seemingly randomly and magically, at shows big and small. He’s performed at the famed Hukilau Festival in Fort Lauderdale and the equally renowned Ohana in Lake George, NY.
The just-released Ritz Carlton Is Now Inside You, his first full LP, stays true to Ritz’s idiosyncratic, enigmatic, and offbeat nature, to say the least. A wild mix of garage punk, rockabilly, and psychotic lounge music, it’s, genuinely, hard to describe.
Available as a very limited-edition vinyl LP featuring a genuine black velvet painting of Ritz on the front cover. An outlandish piece of packaging for a man that entered our world from who knows where? And will, most likely, one day evaporate from it just the same.
So, pick up this slab of wax (or cassette or CD) and see the man’s lunatic live show while you have the chance.