David Ramirez and Noah Gundersen share the Stateside stage for a can't-miss evening of genre-defying music...
About David Ramirez:
By breaking through heartache, David Ramirez has gone on a search for understanding. The Austin resident and frequent traveler to clubs, theaters and listening rooms all over the country, has come to a phase in his creative life where the tears have dried and moving on looks like the best option.
That change in perspective hasn’t erased the weary searching that has characterized Ramirez’s sparse Americana songwriting for more than a decade. It just means the questions he’s asking on his new album Apologies have changed.
“There’s less to do with heartache and a lot more to do with personal struggles, and hope. I see a lot of hope in these songs,” Ramirez, 29, says.
"I've been working on these and many other songs for a couple years but I didn't know what I wanted this album to say until right before going into the studio. Once I finished 'An Introduction' I knew this was going to be a very personal album."
That song finds Ramirez standing in a Roman cathedral looking for God – singing atop a simple but driving shuffle – while the sparse acoustic guitar-and-voice number “Goodbye” shows him closing the book (and setting it ablaze) on a relationship that seems to have left him permanently unsettled.
Whether solo or with accompaniment, Ramirez and his characters make an impression, which is why Paste magazine called him, "The best damn songwriter you don't know yet" and folk stars The Civil Wars praised him as "Soulful, stirring, heartbreaking.”
With Apologies, Ramirez has widened his view but is looking outward as intensely as ever. The answers might elude him – as they do all of us – but the questions he’s asking ring honest and true.
About Noah Gundersen:
Noah's newest EP, called Family, pays homage to the people who have shaped his life--rather than the self-aggrandizing so common to the often homogeneous world of singer-songwriters."Family comes in many forms," says Noah. "It lives with us, for better and for worse. It shapes us. Thats what this album is about."
Fittingly, a member of Noah's family, his sister Abby Gundersen, plays violin and si ngs vocal harmonies on the EP. Her soft voice and lush string accompaniments compliment beautifully what are a magnetic and emotionally charged group of songs. The two have been playing music together since Noah was 15 and Abby was 12 years old, while growing up in the Seattle area. They've also performed in the local band The Courage together. "The musical communication I've had with Abby is unlike anything I've experienced elsewhere. It's a really special thing. Having her with me makes me so much more confident in what I'm doing," says Noah. (Also, Abby recently moonlighted as a tour accompanist for acclaimed singer-songwriter Jarrod Gorbel).
The songs on Family are consistently impressive and defy genre. Whereas roots-tinged songs like "Family" conjure up shades of a solo Ryan Adams, the sweeping and etherial "Fire," bears similarities to the lush harmonic feats of Fleet Foxes. Perhaps the album's standout track is the pulsating "David," which combines the haunting darkness of Tom Waits with the lyrical angst of Neil Young. "The song is about who I want to be, while realizing who I am. I want to be less like my Father and more like my Dad."