17 N. Wenatchee Ave
Wenatchee, WA, 98801
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
A man and his guitar…honest, unfiltered and true. In a landscape filled with Top 40 beats and harmonizing folk groups, a lone singer-songwriter definitely has his work cut out for him. But David Ramirez isn’t looking to top the charts. He just wants to tell the truth.
“I grew up on 90’s alternative radio. It was fun and easy. Then in college someone gave me a Ryan Adams record, which led me to discover artists like Bob Dylan. From those guys I learned about the power of words and melody and their ability to affect change in people. That honesty made me want to connect with people through music”.
The life of the traveling songwriter certainly seems romantic. But as David Ramirez notched mile number 260,000 traveled in his 2006 Kia Rio, the novelty began to wear off. "I've learned a lot from being alone and isolated," says Ramirez, who until recently toured completely by himself, without a band, manager or anyone else for company. "Yes, it's romantic in a way. But it has also been kind of rough on my head and my heart. After a while it made it difficult to connect with people on a personal level when I got home. In hindsight, I can see that it's been kind of detrimental. You know, when you travel around alone for months at a time, the world revolves around you. There's no one else in the equation. Everything was just about me. It's a selfish way of living. And I'm ready to move on from that." It's taken three years since that realization, but with his new album 'FABLES,' out August 28 via Thirty Tigers, Ramirez takes strides towards that personal growth both as a musician and as a man. "I hit a dry spell for a couple of years after my last album. It was frustrating. I went into the studio two years ago planning to do a whole record, and it just wasn't coming together. So I scrapped the whole thing and took some time away from it," he says. "It felt forced. I don't want to just put more noise into the world. I want to put something out there that means something to me. And if it doesn't, then I don't release it. Therefore, I haven't had a new record in three years. I know that can be frustrating for people on my business team. But I don't want to put it out there if I can't stand behind it." The delay, it turns out, was for the best. "My focus wasn't really on my music at that point," he explains. "I was at a point in my relationship with my girlfriend where things were getting serious. The closer we got, the more I realized that I needed to be honest with myself and with her about where my life was heading. If I want to be in a meaningful relationship with someone, I have to be honest in everything I do." The album's title, 'FABLES,' was inspired by the first single, "Harder to Lie," which captures the moment Ramirez realized, as he puts it, "I couldn't bullsh*t with her anymore. She knew me completely. It got me thinking about how much I bullsh*t in my life - exaggerating stories, faking a smile, or whatever. Just telling fables. When you don't know who you really are you can end up hurting people." That newfound maturity and clarity translated into his approach in the
studio, as Ramirez traveled to Seattle to work with his friend Noah Gundersen, who produced the album. "My previous albums were a bit less personal. I always went in with a certain idea of what I wanted them to turn out like. I had never just walked in and said 'let's just see what happens.' And that's what we did this time. From the writing to the recording, it was just based on instincts.” In a world full of singer-songwriters hawking their stories, Ramirez has managed to stand out from the noise, developing a fiercely loyal following of fans who are drawn to his intimately personal songwriting. "When someone buys a record of mine, they're getting my life. They are essentially memoirs. They're going to know a little bit more about who I am." 'FABLES' is a sparse, poignant set of songs crafted around Ramirez' starkly beautiful baritone, which the New York Times once described as full of "haggard loneliness." NPR Music praised his knack for writing "dark, wrenching tales that are immediately identifiable to those who've loved and lost," while Paste described his "brutally honest" lyrics as "almost alarmingly descriptive."After years on the road touring as an opening act for artists like Noah Gundersen, Gregory Alan Isakov, Shakey Graves and Joe Pug, Ramirez is excited to finally embark on his own tour. "Fans have been paying high-dollar tickets to watch me open for other bands, and I'm very thankful for it. I've also had the chance to see how other songwriters I respect work on a professional level. I've learned a lot and been challenged a lot. It's like I've been going to school. I've been taking notes. And now I think I'm ready for the job. I'm really excited to finally go out with a band and do my own full set. It will be more fun and energetic." As he has learned to open himself up to other people in his personal relationships and in the studio, Ramirez has also been focused on putting together a full-time band and letting other musicians become involved in the creative process. "I'm trying to build a family of people who create together, not just a backing band," he says. "For the past five years traveling, I get off stage and I have no one to share it with. I've been lucky enough to ride along with some of the bands I've opened for. I watch them get ready for their set and have that sense of collaboration, and I'll just be in the alley smoking a cigarette by myself. I've always had a little envy for that. I'm like every kid that grew up playing in a garage. I want a band. No one has dreams of playing the world alone."
Ramirez's career has spanned 2 full lengths and 3 EP’s. His 2012 independently released album, Apologies debuted at #2 on iTunes Singer-Songwriter charts and #23 on Billboard Folk, garnering praise from The New York Times, American Songwriter and PASTE. Hometown magazine Austin Monthly calls Ramirez “one of Americana’s great undiscovered songwriters…” His latest release is The Rooster EP. Produced in 6 days by Ramirez and Danny Reisch (Shearwater, Okkervill River, White Denim), the 5 songs explore new sounds and test the limits of the folk/singer-songwriter genre. “The songs themselves are still rooted in folk, but I wanted to experiment with different sounds and textures. It's subtle but it's strong".
David Ramirez knows no luxury. All he needs is an acoustic guitar and the words in his mouth to share his story. One that is honest, unfiltered and true.
Jay Nash, Californian native and rock troubadour, has been blessed with the kind of excruciatingly rustic voice so rarely heard on record. Coupled with that is his unnervingly candid approach to song-writing - the man is a burgeoning talent set for realisation with his latest studio release The Things You Think You Need.
Its certainly refreshing to find an artist that refuses to simply dwell on the hard times, instead choosing to bask in the good and the great that life has to offer. At times almost jovial, Nashs charisma and buoyant attitude is infectious to the last with a sound capable of softening the sternest of hearts.
From the resplendent urgency of Hard Lesson to the elegiac Barcelona, The Things You Think You Need has the potential to surpass anything thats gone before. The writing/recording process for this, his fourth studio album, saw Nashs creative spark ignite like wild-fire as he wrestled with the concept of producing an album laden with variety and character.
By drawing inspiration from his own life experiences, both past and present, Nashs inspirational and evocative lyrical imagery possesses the ability to shatter those deep-rooted inadequacies and musters a feeling of liberation and new-found confidence. Theres no sign of an agenda here - Nashs spirited folk revival offers salvation for the masses.
Too many of todays artists find it easy to trade on a manufactured kinship - creating an unsettling, short-term bond with audiences that theyre all too willing to discard on a whim. Jay Nash is a different animal altogether and his desire to connect with people is evident as he produces that very first subtle, Americana-style chord.
Theres no bravado, no ill-placed audacity. Nash, its plain to see, is one of us - one of the good guys. A trailblazer for passion and hard graft - a man who knows no limitation.