Ramatam appeared in 1972 with a self-titled debut album on Atlantic and a line-up featuring Mitch Mitchell (ex-Jimi Hendrix Experience), Mike Pinera (from Iron Butterfly and Blues Image) and female guitar virtuoso, April Lawton.
The line-up was completed with keyboard player Tommy Sullivan and bassist Russ Smith.
Their debut album – produced by Tom Dowd – was a mish-mash of blues, country-rock, hard rock and jazz (and suffered from the addition of clumsy and unnecessary horn arrangements) but the band received a great deal of press coverage, both because of their famous members and the novelty (at the time) of having an immensely-talented lead guitarist who happened to be a woman.
Ramatam toured in support of Humble Pie, ELP, Edgar Winter and ZZ Top, but by 1973 had pared down to a power trio of Lawton, Sullivan and Jimmy Walker on drums. This line-up recorded the 1973 album In April Came The Dawning Of Red Suns.
The group had folded by 1974 and Lawton continued on unsuccessfully as The April Lawton Band.
April Lawton died of heart failure at the age of 58 on 23 November 2006.
Keyboards, bass, flute, saxophone, vocals