Old Ramon is the final album released by alternative rock band Red House Painters. Originally completed in 1998, Mark Kozelek had to wait until 2001 to release the album. The band had previously been signed to Island/Supreme Records, but a series of major label mergers in the late '90s left the band without a label. This meant the album had to be shelved until three years later, when Kozelek managed to buy back the album from Island Records and Sub Pop signed the group.
During the wait for the album's release, Old Ramon built up a reputation as one of the greatest "lost" albums of the modern era, and one of the saddest cases of a band being left in limbo during the major label mergers. Once it was finally released, reviews were generally very positive. Alternative Press gave the album a perfect 5 out 5 rating, praising its "timeless beauty."
Many regard Old Ramon as a more lighthearted, optimistic recording than previous Red House Painters releases. The first track, "Wop-a-Din-Din" is Mark's tribute to his cat, while "Byrd Joel," "Michigan" and "Kavita" are love songs. Elsewhere, however, the languid, lengthy "River" and "Void", and the melancholic "Smokey", confirmed that Kozelek hadn't lost his touch for articulating regret and sadness. The album also retained Songs for a Blue Guitar's mix of introspective acoustic folk-rock and heavier electric rock.
This is the last Painters release to date. Kozelek and many of his RHP collaborators have since released albums under the new moniker Sun Kil Moon.