Andrea Ramolo
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Andrea Ramolo

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2007 | MAJOR | AFM

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | MAJOR | AFM
Established on Jan, 2007
Solo Folk Roots




"On the Verge: Andrea Ramolo"

On the Verge: Andrea Ramolo

February 4th, 2011 5:46 pm ET
Robert Frezza
Buffalo Underground Music Examiner
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Andrea Ramolo is a woman with a guitar and a dream, but it’s not until recently she picked up that instrument that made her one of Canada’s up and coming earthy, ethereal folk singers.

Andrea Ramolo may not be aware of it just yet, but she is following in the footsteps of Feist, Neko Case, and Alanis Morisette. Is it safe to say we are finally uncovering a legacy of women that are leaving a revolutionary mark of grass roots, country, and folk music combined on the music industry?

Canada has garnered attention from Morisette and now Neko Case in recent years. Now it’s Andrea’s time to shine in her own right. With under 300 shows under her belt, this Canadian is ready to crack the US market open, wide open. With the help from one or more of her influences, Ramolo holds the power to shape and mold Canada’s all women grass roots rock movement into something, quite possibly, revolutionary. Until then, the public is sitting by the border waiting for that crossover to happen. had the chance to sit down with singer songwriter Andrea Ramolo before her three-night stint in NYC.

Born in Naples, Ontario—it wasn’t until recently you picked up the guitar and started singing?

I actually was a dancer my entire life and started seriously acting here in Toronto as well. I started with cover bands and then I started writing my own songs and playing guitar in 2003. My mom was sick with cancer and I started writing as more of a therapeutic sort of thing. Then the debut album was released and here I am.

The comparisons do happen and Neko Case definitely comes to mind when I listen to your songs.

I love Neko Case! I have many inspirations that include Janis Joplin, who had an honest, raw, and real thing about her as far as my bluesy rock side goes. Emmy Lou Harris and Stevie Nicks are pretty cool too.


You have toured a lot!!

Yeah we have played over 300 shows over the past two years. We played some big shows and some small shows over the course of the past couple years here in Canada.

Does it ever get tiring?

Yeah it definitely gets tiring. When we were in the third month I just felt a bit exhausted. Your sleeping in a van and playing shows almost every single night, but I do love engaging the crowd and talking to the fans.

You are gearing up for your sophomore album. How important is this album for you?

It’s gonna be called the Shadow and the Crack. The first album was more live off the floor and real—more of a grass rock roots album. This second one is a big studio album—a more commercial appeal if you will. This album has some more important songs on it as well.

Finally, where on your priority list is breaking into the states for you?

I think you guys have a great appreciation for Americana music--acoustic with great storytelling southern rock and roll, if you will. There are more listeners down in the states and it will be great to travel! We hope people will come out to support what we brought from Canada and that is some great music!

Andrea Ramolo plays Arlene's Grocery this Tuesday night February 8 at 6 PM in NYC.

For more info on Andrea Ramolo check out the following sites: and

By Robert Frezza
Buffalo Underground Music Examiner
Robert Frezza is a media journalist with expertise in interviewing bands and artists alike. As a current writer for the Buffalo News, Robert has... Read more

Continue reading on On the Verge: Andrea Ramolo - Buffalo underground music | - (Buffalo)

"Andrea Ramolo - Triple Threat"

Andrea Ramolo is a great example of the kind of artist that gives Canadian roots musicians a good name. She is articulate, highly educated, versatile, bold, funny, talented, shrewd, determined and in stereotypical Canadian fashion, well-mannered, even sweetly humble.

She’s got a great work ethic, to boot: Andrea Ramolo is notorious for her incredible touring schedule, logging 300-400 shows over the past two years with her one-man-band, Jason Skiendziel. She’s also blessed with mesmerizing looks. Plus, she’s an experienced actor and she does a mean tap-dance!

All of which might make it easy to overlook her best quality of all: she sings wonderful self-penned songs with a tough n’ tender goose-bump-inducing voice.

Andrea Ramolo dropped by The Woodshed and proved she’s a triple threat in lucky Episode 13 of The Woodshed Sessions.

On Wednesday, March 30, Andrea releases her second solo CD, The Shadows and the Cracks with a show at Toronto’s The Great Hall.

Take a tap-dancing lesson with Andrea Ramolo in this bonus video from Brian Crosby: -

"Andrea Ramolo brings a touch of Joplin and Parton"

CLUB SCENE: Andrea Ramolo brings a touch of Joplin and Parton
Last Updated: 29th October 2009, 10:23am
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Andrea Ramolo plays London Music Club Oct. 29.
A blend of folk, blues and pop will fill the London Music Club tonight.

That's when singer-songwriter Andrea Ramolo shares real-life stories about love, loss and everything in between.

Critics have called her "a sexier Janis Joplin" and "a tougher Dolly Parton," so fans of either will probably find a few notes to sing along to. There's the smooth and sultry Love Sick Blues ("I've been crying for days and the sun don't shine") to the quick-paced Wolfman ("Wolfman, don't sink your teeth into me.")

This time last year, Ramolo released her debut album, Thank You For the Ride. She has since toured the country -- including two East Coast tours and shows in the Yukon -- and has performed in Nashville too.

Andrea Ramolo performs at the LMC's Front Room. Doors open at 8 p.m. Cover is $5.

--- --- ---

Summer's gone, but we can still find an intimate, campfire-style performance in the Forest City. Simply step into the East Village Artist Co-op tonight for a special double-header featuring Ben Sures and Allison Brown.

People are encouraged to bring pillows or camp chairs (partly for ambiance, partly for lack of seating), while tea, coffee and snacks can be enjoyed (donations will go towards the EVAC).

As for the music, Ben Sures dishes out contemporary folk tunes, with cute and clever lyrics. He even picked up props in the John Lennon Songwriting Competition (for Any Precious Girl).

Familiar folk artist Allison Brown will be back to share a few songs about broken hearts and bad weather. She's currently working on a new album, to be released this time next year, titled Viper at The Virgin's Feet.

Doors for Sures and Brown open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 in advance, or $10 at the door.
- London Free Press

"Belting it out in Beadelbane"

Belting it out in Beadelbane



Why is this woman smiling? Beats us—Andrea Ramolo has booked herself into more than 70 venues across the country.

"Your heart will be mine by the end of this song," sings Andrea Ramolo on her album Thanks for the Ride. And you know what--it's not all hyperbole. The Toronto-based singer has the whiskey-soaked (journalese for blues-y) pipes to land a song straight into your cerebral cortex. Impressively, Ramolo has taken the DIY ethic to an extreme by booking 70 shows herself across this wide, expansive, bingo-loving country. This means folks in Hedley B.C., Haines Junction YT, Twin Butte AB, Wabigoon ON, and Breadelbane, PE, among others will be treated to songs like her steamy booty-call ode "Late Night Lovin'." Oh yeah, she even has a couple of gigs in Vancouver, at the Main June 4 and Lugz June 13. Cover charge.

Read more: - Chilliwack Times

"Independence Day"

Independence Day
Andrea Ramolo confident she maintained autonomy while sharing studio with star producer
By Jeffrey Ougler
Updated 1 month ago
Andrea Ramolo boasts a sassy self-assurance that would have prompted much more than a mere shrug from Ayn Rand.

Instead, a cheer would have likely erupted from the pied piper of the pursuit of one's own happiness upon coming in contact with such confidence.

In conversation, Ramolo trumpets her determination and ambition, and how she's taken the bull by the horns, single-handedly booking every tour date and ruddering every aspect of her career.

So what happens when the Canadian singer\songwriter teams up in the studio with a Juno, Gemini and Emmy award-winning producer, a guy who helped make Lisa Dalbello one of Canada's brightest musical lights in the late 1970s and early '80s, and most recently lent his talents to Alanis Morissette and Jimmy Rankin?

Does Ramolo simply roll over and let Tim Thorney call the shots?

Not on your life.

But that doesn't mean she didn't take kindly to counsel of the years.

"I'm a little bit of a control freak because I've been doing this on my own," Ramolo said in a recent interview from Toronto.

"But when you do work with a producer, you need to trust them.

"It's like they're an artistic director or director of a play. You're the actor, you have a role. You're going to draw from your own pool of and work and experience.

"But at the same time, it's them shaping the album. It was his overall interpretation of my songs, and that's what a producer is supposed to do."

The Shadows and the Cracks is the followup to Ramolo's 2008 indie debut, Thank You For the Ride.

This time around there's a label — albeit small — and distribution muscle in the form of MDM/Universal.

And, of course, there's Thorney.

The two hooked up in the typical 2000s way: Facebook.

They had mutual friends.

"(Thorney) said, 'Wow, you are such a crazy hard worker.' " Ramolo recalled.

"He heard (Thank You For the Ride). He liked it. He listened to it again, again and again, came to my live shows, loved what I had to offer. It's been a growing relationship.

"We became friends, we started hanging out, talking about music ... He's a really interesting character, for sure."

Being "born in the '80s," Ramolo concedes she didn't have the opportunity to spin Dalbello's Pretty Girls on a turntable, but did do her research, garnering a respect for her fellow Toronto songstress — as well as for the man who produced some of Dalbello's early 1980s work.

"Even though he does come from a commercial (background) — like his albums were successful in the commercial market — still my stories remain true," Ramolo said.

"You can hear the stories in the songs, which is nice."

That's important to the composer, dubbed by some in the industry as a "tireless road warrior."

The Shadows and the Cracks contains cuts crafted by two East Coast tours, gigs all over Ontario, and a Nashville showcase, all the while racking up 40,000 kilometres in a van she virtually called home for two years.

Ramolo's not complaining. The road was ripe with creative influence.

One song is inspired by the Yukon and another, Eastern Shore, was written in rural Nova Scotia within sight of the Atlantic Ocean.

"It's a song about unrequited love, but it sort of alludes to the story of dead fishermen, fishermen back in the day, those who went out to sea and never came back," Ramolo said.

"And I sort of tie than into my own depressive situation," she said laughing.

There was no getting rich and no Rogers Centre on the tour schedule.

"It's not about the money for me," Ramolo said, figuring she sold only between 2,000 and 3,000 copies of Thank You For the Ride "right off the stage."

"It's about the energy. Sometimes, I'd rather play to a room of five if they're really listening and digging the songs rather than a really loud bar-type venue where people are shouting, 'Play Little Wing' or 'Play (Me and) Bobby McGee.' "

Now, Ramolo's no stick in the mud.

If she's pressed — or merely in the mood for fun — she will gladly play the latter, a tune made famous by Janis Joplin. In fact, it was one of the first numbers Ramolo ever did live.

She was 16, and during a school trip to New York City, snuck into a bar.

"I sang with a house band and I was totally under age," Ramolo recounted.

"That song just sort of got me doing this. Getting into Janis at a young age, she was one of my icons."

This time around, road life will also be cushioned a bit thanks to Canada Council for the Arts backing. Ramolo's 24-show tour begins in Toronto March 30 and sees her dip toes in both the Atlantic and Pacific.

Without getting specific, Ramolo said the grant was especially beneficial as it was enough to let her beef up her band. She's only toured with mainstay and "one-man band" Jason Skiendziel, but this time around adds drummer Josh Turnbull and Sean Pinchin, on guitar and harmonica.

Pinchin, a "great blues guy," also delivers opening sets for each show.

"I hope that we all get along because we're literally just putting this band together," Ramolo said.

Literally is right.

At the time of this interview, the four had not rehearsed.

Skiendziel and Pinchin played on the first album, and Ramolo "just met" Turnbull.

"Everyone's been doing their own thing, so we're going to come together and put this show on the road and see how it goes," Ramolo said.

"I think it's going to be great. I think we're gong to have a good time. It's going to be a different experience."

Money in the bank also affords an escape from too-tight quarters.

"I think (landing funding) was fate because I'm not sure how I would have been able to do this tour without (it)," Ramolo said.

"With four people, you're not going to squeeze into a queen-size bed ... And where are you going to fit the gear?

"I want to treat the boys well. I'm going to pay them a salary. I want them to be motivated and inspired by the music, but also treated really well, because they are working for me. It is my album and my name."

Visiting parts of the U.S. has opened Ramolo's eyes to some of the economic challenges faced by artists south of the 49th parallel. Nashville, New York City and L.A., might sound romantic, but the reality is many aspiring songsters trying to make it there "don't have much opportunity."

"Despite some qualms about our government and our system and politics in Canada, we do have a very supportive grant system for artists," Ramolo said.

"We really do."

Ramolo's label, Thorniac Records, did the leg work to secure federal funding, but the singer insists without establishing herself as a "road warrior" over the past couple of years, any application form from her would have wound up in the circular file.

"I needed to work my butt off ... I needed to have some experience and credentials behind me, and now I do, which is great," she said. "I used to complain and get all bitter, like most artists do, when they don't get grants and they just get bummed out.

"It is a lot of paperwork and it's a lot of time put into filling this stuff out."

Ramolo said Canada still has a way to go, convincing those who hold the purse strings, that money spent on the arts is not dollars down the drain.

"Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be this feeling of necessity for art in our culture, and hopefully, someday, that will change. We're going to make this happen."

On the web:

If you go

Who: Andrea Ramolo

When: April 14, 9:30 p.m.

Where: Loplops, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

- The Sault Star

"Andrea Ramolo: The singer/songwriter launches her new CD 'The Shadows and the Cracks' and pack on the kilometers once more"

The show in Vancouver is April 25th at the Railway Club, and it is an EARLY SHOW ­doors at 6:00pm ($10 / $8 members), show at 7:00pm

Her new album The Shadows and the Cracks bring the blues in her voice and her performances are energetic and her ability to tour has no equal. They are crossing Canada and playing all through April Check out the song O brother.

Andrea is a Toronto powerhouse of an indie musician, doing all her own booking and crossing the country from Newfoundland to Victoria and everywhere in between over the last few years.

She secured her own Canada Council funding for her tour, and will probably will drive a good chunk of it too, though unlike usual with her one man band Jason Skiendziel being her only counterpart on the road, this time Andrea is also bringing along Sean Pinchin on guitar and Josh Turnbull on drums. The tour kicked out March 30 in Toronto so stay tune to her gigs in your town.

It’s been two and a half years since Andrea Ramolo released her first indie album Thank You for the Ride.

And it definitely HAS been a ride — Andrea has criss-crossed Canada playing more than 400 shows since that record was launched.

And now the ride is going to get faster, harder and louder with the release of her new Tim Thorney-produced CD, The Shadows and the Cracks. The CD was granted support by FACTOR, is being released on Thorniac Records, and being distributed by MDM/Universal Music Canada.

The album demonstrates a sensitivity and strength, with honest tales of love, longing, sorrow, and human relationships – many of them inspired by “the ride.” Andrea’s gritty voice — softened occasionally by the vulnerability that comes from road-weariness and the distance from friends and family — is both unique and memorable; some of the best session players in Canada provide powerful support.

Live in the van, meet the fans, sing the songs

For the past two years, Andrea’s home has been her van and the road has been her destination. Playing shows from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island and up to the Yukon certainly warrants Andrea her reputation as one of Canada’s most tireless road warriors.

Growing up in suburban Toronto with Italian parents, Andrea learned the values of hard work and fortitude. In fact, she’s a young woman with both determination and ambition — and a background with spells as both a high school teacher, professional dancer, and actress. She’s mastered the intricacies of the music industry — she has single-handedly booked every one of her tour dates, and supervises every aspect of her career.

Musically, she’s been described as the antidote to too much Joni Mitchell, a tougher Dolly Parton a sexier Janis Joplin, but she has a soulful and sultry sound that’s all her own. There is an intimacy in her music that is both candid and unapologetic. Her beautifully woven narratives and raw delivery pull you in, force you to smile, break your heart, and mend it all over again. She’s a born performer and has been described as fearless, emotional, and confident. And you may even catch her tap dancing at one of her live shows.

Her ”one-man band,” Jason Skiendziel, has been a major part of the ride as accompanist, companion and alternate driver; he plays bass, mandolin and several other instruments as well. For the album release tour, Andrea has added drummer Josh Turnbull and lead guitarist Sean Pinchin to the mix. And come summer, Andrea and her “one-man band” will take their innovative duo show and travel east, west, and up to the Yukon once again playing festivals, outdoor events, concert halls, and anywhere else that will have them.

Andrea has lent her vocal talents to recordings for Martha and the Muffins, Cindy Doire, and The Strip; has opened for Stacey Earle, Fred Eaglesmith, Angel Band, ‘Law and Order’s Jeremy Sisto, and more; and has shared the stage with some of Canada’s best roots musicians. In 2009, she won the Toronto Exclusive Magazine awards for Best Female Folk Artist, Best Folk Album, and Best Blues Song. She was a guest speaker at the 2009 Ontario Council of Folk Festivals Conference in Ottawa on how independent artists can book their own tours; showcased at the American Folk Alliance via the Sweet Beaver Suite in Memphis; and recently returned from a successful U.S tour.

Meanwhile, her van is gassed up and ready to go. Album release full band tour
Mar 31, 2011 10:00 PM Brutopia Montreal, QC
Apr 1, 2011 9:00 PM Café-Bar Le Zénob Trois-Rivières, QC
Apr 2, 2011 9:00 PM Cellar Pub Fredericton, NB
Apr 4, 2011 9:00 PM Hunter’s Alehouse Charlottetown, PE
Apr 6, 2011 10:00 PM Seahorse Tavern Halifax, NS
Apr 7, 2011 10:00 PM Plan B Moncton, NB
Apr 8, 2011 8:00 PM Vintage Bistro Hampton, NB
Apr 9, 2011 10:00 PM The Red Herring St. Andrews, ON
Apr 12, 2011 9:00 PM Rainbow Bistro Ottawa, ON
Apr 13, 2011 8:00 PM The Lavigne Tavern Lavigne, ON
Apr 14, 2011 9:00 PM LopLop Lounge Sault Sainte Marie, ON
Apr 15, 2011 10:00 PM Black Pirate’s Pub Thunder Bay, ON
Apr 16, 2011 9:00 PM The Cornerstone Kenora, ON
Apr 17, 2011 10:00 PM The Standard Tavern Winnipeg, MB
Apr 19, 2011 9:30 PM Vangelis Tavern Saskatoon, SK
Apr 20, 2011 10:00 PM Black Dog Freehouse Edmonton, AB
Apr 21, 2011 9:00 PM The Vat Red Deer, AB
Apr 22, 2011 9:00 PM Early Stage Saloon Stony Plain, AB
Apr 23, 2011 9:00 PM The Whistle Stop Jasper, AB
Apr 25, 2011 8:00 PM The Railway Club Vancouver, BC
Apr 26, 2011 9:00 PM The Last Drop Pub, ( Powder Springs Inn) Revelstoke BC Revelstoke, AB
Apr 27, 2011 9:00 PM Bud’s Bar & Lounge Invermere, BC
Apr 28, 2011 9:00 PM Ironwood Stage & Grill Calgary, AB
Apr 29, 2011 9:00 PM Ye Olde Jar Bar Medicine Hat, AB
Apr 30, 2011 8:00 PM The Lyric Theatre Swift Current, SK -

"Andrea Ramolo - Not Your Janis Joplin Clone"

Andrea Ramolo-Not your Janis Joplin clone
Submitted by cashbox on Fri, 04/15/2011 - 11:57 Cover Story Features

Story:Lenny Stoute

Barrelling along the 401, having blown away Montreal the night before and on the way to do it again in Ottawa, is the perfect way to meet Andrea Ramolo. The fast-rising singer plays better than 200 shows a year all across our fair land, earning her the tag “tireless road warrior”

The current 26-city jaunt is in support of second album 'The Shadows and the Cracks', which marks something of a departure for Ramolo. The Toronto native broke on the scene with 2008’s ‘Thank You For The Ride’ a sunny-sided collection of folk confections laden with lyrical narrative and introducing us to Ramolo’s rich and supple pipes.

It scored her widespread attention, opened the door to a better level of opening slots, won Best Folk album awards and guest speaker spot at the 2009 Ontario Council of Folk Festivals Conference in Ottawa on how to book your own tour as an indie artist.

“ The first album was totally my baby. It was an outpouring of songs, very organic. A lot of it was live off the floor, recorded in spontaneous bursts and produced by my then-boyfriend. It all worked out and it got me started off.”

Backed by one-man band Jason Skiendziel (upright/electric basses, mandolin, percussion), Ramolo took her show on roads as far away as the Southern U.S, playing the gigs, penning the tunes.

Two and a half years of that and she’s back with The Shadows And The Cracks, a more complex proposition, as is often the case with bridging albums. The bridging thing comes up as it has a number of tunes, such as ‘Oh Brother’ and “Whole Life Running” which are a hardass departure from the material on the debut album, casting suspicion Ramolo will be heading further in that direction. Given that she works a hot line in dark eyed sultry smoulder, it’d look good on her.

“ This one is more of a studio album. The songs are more crafted, it’s more sophisticated. That comes from the material itself and working with a high-level producer (Tim Thorney). It’s more accessible, more radio friendly, more variety on it. I point that out because while the rock tunes are getting a lot of attention and that’s great, there are also slower, more intimate tunes. But it’s all me, it’s all my songs”.

Collectively, the tunes on ‘The Cracks…’ offer a portrait of an artist in transition, somewhere between the sunny summer Sunday of the first album and the Friday night swagger of the current cookie. With this one, Ramolo’s dealing from a deck stacked with dark shadows and forceful intent; getting across those kinds of things is best done by rocking it out. Which is why she’s van-bound with three guys, making her first ever ‘national’ band tour augmented by guitarist Sean Pinchin and drummer Josh Turnbull.

“ There are the songs where I totally get to let it out and it’s great to have the band with me for that. But there are also some really beautiful moments of intimacy and instrumentation”.

At this stage, talking to Andrea Ramolo there’s no getting around the 500 llb pink gorilla in the room named Janis Joplin. Marketing departments love a niche to exploit and thanks to Joplin’s wackjob bible thumping family who refuse all offers to work the franchise, the Hard Rockin’ Edge City Hot White Blues Babe niche is wide open for business and ready to ooze money.

Round here it’d be easy for the twentysomething Ramolo to assume the spangled mantle of the legendary Joplin. But that would be selling Ramolo’s ambition short. And Andrea ain’t ready to go like that.

“ Sure Janice is an influence but I also have a lot of respect for other writers especially Ani Di Franco and Lucinda Williams. When I was younger I had a Janis obsessed period but now that’s just another style I can do” she laughs, hinting it might be a carryover from her karaoke gig days.

“ I’m good with the Janice comparisons but I’m a lot more eclectic. I don’t want to be in any kind of pigeonhole. I want to get respect for my own voice. Lyrics are very important to me; I was writing poetry before I was writing songs. I was the kind of kid who was writing and putting on plays with my friends in Grade 1. So yeah, a lot goes into the song writing”.

Back on the van, the mood’s all revived optimism as the band looks forward to the Western leg of the tour.

“ The timing wasn’t the best for introducing the rock material out East, as most of the colleges were just going into exam mode, so the kids weren’t in the bars rocking. We’re looking forward to the Western leg, as the situation will be the opposite. They’ll have just finished their exams and be in a mood to have some beer and rock out”

And the album totally has the punchy guitar lines and vocal hooks so conducive to getting one’s drink on.

“ As it is, the tour is going well; the new, more rocking material is being well received by the core fans, who’re used to the more intimate, solo approach. That’s good to see; it energizes me”.

This weekend Andrea Ramolo and band play The Black Pirates Pub in Thunder Bay Friday(Apr.15) and Kenora’s The Cornerstone Saturday(Apr.16)

For a full list of tour dates check - Cash Box Canada Magazine

"Andrea Ramolo and a big fur hat"

Andrea Ramolo and a big fur hat!
Published Thursday April 7th, 2011

Roots rocker well known for her funky headwear
julia wright








Andrea Ramolo, best known for her sweet, expansive sound and taste for giant headwear, is psyched to play in the Maritimes.


"I like touring the East Coast...You don't feel intimidated. It's never a rush."

She's currently organizing the release party for her new record, The Shadows and the Cracks.

Since her 2008 debut, Ramolo has joined forces with slide blues guitarist Sean Pinchon and drummer Josh Turnbull. One-man band Jason Skiendziel has been accompanying her on upright bass and mandolin for years.

With musical muses ranging from Janice Joplin and Neko Case to folk/country singers Emmylou Harris and Lucinda Williams, concertgoers can expect her to "sound more rockin' than anything.

"I thrive off of live shows. I'd play a show every night if I could."


April 7, 9:30pm at Moncton's Plan B. 212 St George St. 384-2019.
April 9 at The Red Herring in Saint Andrews at 10:30pm. 211 Water St. 529-8455.
April 8 at Vintage Bistro at 8pm. 14 Centennial Rd., Hampton. 832-1212. - HERE New Brunswick

"Andrea Ramolo: The Shadows and the Cracks"

Andrea Ramolo: The Shadows And The Cracks
Submitted by cashbox on Fri, 03/25/2011 - 12:12 CD Reviews Reviews


Toronto’s Andrea Ramolo isn’t one for staying still too long. When on the road, which is often, she plays between 250-300 dates a year. Having cut her teeth on the folk scene playing with the likes of Jim Cuddy and Fred Eaglesmith and released a folkified debut album (Thank You For The Ride), it’s no surprise that the followup is something very different.

The album art’s a good indicator. The New Age girl in the floral print running through the meadow from ‘Thank You For The Ride’ is now all tattered jeans, skimpy undershirt holding up a lantern in a dark barn, almost daring you to come in.

Hot, real hot and totally in step with Ramolo’s new Joplinesque persona, stompin’ and heavy breathing all over the tracks on ‘The Shadows and The Cracks’. Produced by Tim Thorney, who’s been this way before with Alanis Morissette, the album’s a good mix of radio-friendly alt blues rock and tunes designed to spotlight the lady’s pipes, nicely curated by Thorney who comes up with a mix that’s now-sounding enough to dodge the retro bullet.

The standard guitar, bass, drums and keys line-up keeps the rock moving along at a decent clip and backing vocalist Cindy Doire ups the flavour ante whenever she’s on the mic but it's all about Andrea and how she sells the tunes. And sell ‘em she can.

Apart from a couple of slower tracks, likely intended as bridging devices between the albums, Ramolo rips it to the bone, especially on ‘Freedom In America’, ‘Oh Brother’ and hitbound single ‘Whole Life Running’

Andrea Ramolo plays Toronto’s Great hall Mar.30
- Cashbox

"No More Bunk Beds for Andrea Ramolo"

No More Bunk Beds for Andrea Ramolo
the toronto musician shares her love of the east

When Andrea Ramolo toured through Halifax two years ago, the Toronto-based roots-folk musician was sleeping in a van with built-in bunk beds, constructed with her longtime touring partner and musical Jack-of-all-trades Jason Skiendziel. For her upcoming cross-country jaunt, which brings her to the Seahorse next Wednesday, April 6, she’ll be supported by a bassist and drummer — and will hopefully be spending at least a few nights in comfier lodgings. Not that she’s complaining, though: “I just want the band to be comfortable,” she says. Ramolo’s humbler tour accommodations provided song fodder for her new album, The Shadows and the Cracks — one song, “Eastern Shore,” was specifically inspired by a spooky rest stop by an old graveyard on the way to Cape Breton. It’s a sea-shanty-style waltz, using the story of fisherman lost at sea as a framing for Ramolo’s own story of unrequited love. “It’s really eerie,” she says. “And that drive has always stuck with me — it’s such a haunting and beautiful place, with all the little lighthouses blinking in the fog.” - The Coast (Halifax) in Scene and Heard

"Review and Photos - Andrea Ramolo"

Review – Andrea Ramolo at the Railway Club, Vancouver, April 25 2011

- review by Oswaldo Perez Cabrera/photos by Jason Statler

Andrea Ramolo is a Toronto singer/songwriter raised in an Italian family. An indie powerhouse musician, she does all her own bookings and has crossed the country from Newfoundland to Victoria and everywhere in between over the last few years.

She secured her own Canada Council funding for her tour, and drove from east to west again. This time Andrea also brought along Sean Pinchin on guitar and Josh Turnbull on drums. Generally she travels with her one man band, Jason Skiendziel. The tour kicked out March 30 in Toronto, 26 days later she played an early evening showcase gig at the Railway on Monday April 25. She also brought a new CD in her suitcase, The Shadows and the Cracks.

Sean Pinchin with Andrea Ramolo at the Railway Club, Vancouver, April 25 2011. Jason Statler photo
Her songs are about love and longing, but also about places (Texas, Thunder Bay, Nova Scotia, Toronto) where this artist has gone, and believe me she has been all over the country. The lyrics are well thought-out, like snapshots of life, or short films made into songs.

For an early show, a good-sized audience came out to experience Ramolo’s powerful voice as well as Pinchin’s fleet-fingered playing. The guitarist open most of the shows of the tour with his solo act and a rhythm section.

Ramolo and her band started with “O Brother”, a great country pacifist rocker. The rest of the repertoire was a mix of blues and country. It seems Ramolo is moving into blues-rock territory, and the recruiting of Pinchin for the tour is a proof. Neverhteless, singer/songwriters love ballads and Ramolo is no exception: “Cold in the City” is indeed “a pretty song”, as she described it.

The set and setting was cozy, intimate and warm. If you closed your eyes you could imagine being in a cabin in the woods where a bunch of friends are drinking wine around the fireplace or a bonfire, sharing a laugh with Ramolo’s music playing. Despite being from Toronto the members of the band look more like country hippie guys, and in a way they are – it seems they like living in a van while crossing Canada.

Andrea Ramolo at the Railway Club, Vancouver, April 25 2011. Jason Statler photo

Andrea Ramolo at the Railway Club, Vancouver, April 25 2011. Jason Statler photo

Andrea Ramolo at the Railway Club, Vancouver, April 25 2011. Jason Statler photo
- Guttersnipe News

"Disc Review"


Andrea Ramolo - The Shadows And The Cracks
(Thorniac/independent) BY SARAH GREENE
This sophomore disc from Toronto-based road warrior, teacher and sometime dancer and actor Andrea Ramolo sees her moving in a Janis Joplin-influenced blues rock direction that suits her voice.

Producer Tim Thorney (Alanis Morissette, Jimmy Rankin) brings out a radio-friendly 90s alternative vibe on songs with themes ranging from the personal to the political. Electric guitar, bass, drums and keys keep things cohesive, with occasional use of violin and harmonica adding colour. Gettin’ So Old co-writer Cindy Doire lends backup vocals to many of the tunes.

Ramolo is strongest on roots rocker Whole Life Running, rabble-rousing Freedom In America and tough and bluesy O Brother. When she slows down on love songs Cold In The City and closer Please Don’t she’s less convincing, though they help with the pacing. The album evokes a good night out in a small town bar far away from the city lights Ramolo calls home.

Top track: Whole Life Running

NOW | March 24-31, 2011 | VOL 30 NO 30 - NOW Magazine - March 24-31, 2011 - Vol 30 No 30

"Andrea Ramolo Returns to Play Bud's Bar and Lounge"

By Darryl Crane - Invermere Valley Echo
Published: March 24, 2011 3:00 PM
Updated: March 25, 2011 2:41 PM
Bud's Bar and Lounge in Invermere will continue to bring great music into the Columbia Valley when Andrea Ramolo and her band perform on April 27.

Ramolo is a tough-edged singer-songwriter who is on tour in support of her new CD,“The Shadows and the Cracks". It’s been two and a half years since Andrea Ramolo released her first indie album "Thank You for the Ride".

Since then she has criss-crossed Canada playing more than 400 shows.

"My travels have made me extremely rich with experience. Over the past few years I've learned more about the people and places in this country better than any book or map could have taught me. It's extremely hard work to route the trip, book all the shows, secure key publicity, etc... but it always pays off. My duo partner Jason Skiendziel and I have played for 10 people in towns of no more than 200 to 15,000 people at big summer folk fests and outdoor corporate events. It's been a blast and my songwriting has matured because of it. I have such a deep appreciation for our land and the diverse cultures that inhabit it. I think I'm pretty blessed to do what I do and I try not to take it for granted."

Ramolo said she feels very lucky with the progression of her career. "My career in music developed pretty quickly and I think that my past experiences as a competitive dancer and actor helped me in teaching me certain skills that are also needed in the field of music. For instance, I've always been really comfortable on stage in a performance setting and love storytelling so engaging my audience is something I look forward to instead of fearing. I think the greatest challenge, especially for roots artists in this country, is how to find a way to make a good enough living doing what we do. Whether that's coming up with the secret that will help pack live music venues again, or attempting to change the format of mainstream radio so that me and my pals across the country are getting enough exposure to have a decent following," she said.

Ramolo went on to talk about how the way music gets to listeners has added some extra challenges for musicians. "And then there's the decline of the record store. People used to line up to buy albums back in the day. Now, a lot of music if available for free and I think that's devalued what artists do and what they're selling. Canada as a country is pretty supportive of the arts, with granting foundations like FACTOR and the Canada Council for the Arts, both to whom I am extremely grateful. But I think we can still make the creative arts a priority and funnel arts money back into schools so that students grow up learning the value and importance of creative expression. So yes... the biggest challenge is making a decent living. I have had to juggle a few jobs on the side to make sure my rent is paid... I'm also a substitute teacher on the side."

This will not be the first time she has played in Invermere and Ramolo is happy to be returning to a place where the people responded in a positive manner to what she does.

As for what people can expect if they come out to her show, Ramolo said "This is the first tour that I'm doing with a full band. It's definitely a moody show, with moments of intimacy and beautiful instrumentation provided by my band. We're also gonna rock a couple of songs and you may even catch me tap dancing. The amazing Sean Pinchin will be opening for our shows across the country and will also play lead guitar in my band. The songs are rootsy, with hints of blues, rock, folk, and country... and I'm hoping that people will be stomping their feet, singing along, or made to reflect. At the very least, it'll be a great time."
- Invermere Valley Echo

"Andrea Returns"

Andrea returns

Rockin’ it Andrea Ramolo and Jason Skiendziel brought in local sax player Corry Oerlemans for a jam
Dierra Maynard photo
By Dierra Maynard - Similkameen Spotlight
Published: August 03, 2010 1:00 AM
Updated: August 03, 2010 6:20 AM
Smooth and sultry blended together make Andrea Ramolo’s voice a voice worthy of a listen. That is exactly what the patrons of Linguinis Restaurant did last Sunday evening. This was Ramolo’s second visit to the small town and no one left feeling disappointed, but rather like they were watching an up and coming artist etch her own way to the top.

The Toronto singer songwriter is on a five month long 80 plus gig tour called “Yukon and Beyond” with musician Jason Skiendziel. The talented duo have a chemistry together that comes from more than a love of music. Their tours around Canada by van have been filled with adventure including more than their fair share of mechanical breakdowns this time around. They carry an inflatable boat to use in the lakes along the way and have swung off a rope swing at Banff making the most of their journey. Some of that road trip bonding comes through as they entertain their audiences with a friendly ease. Their combination of talent and unique music is easy to sit through and both Ramolo and Skiendziel are easy on the eyes, so the only reason not to attend one of their performances is that you can’t hear or see.

Ramolo’s songs are raw with emotion. Her singing has a vulnerability to it that only comes from creating and performing from the heart. With singers Janis Joplin and Emmylou Harris as two artists whose voices she greatly admires, it is not hard to see Ramolo’s own career path as one with a promising future.

Music was not Ramolo’s first love when she was younger, but is a big part of her heritage. She started dancing when she was two and before long was competing and performing professionally. Then, came acting. Ramolo even got a part in “Once Upon a Mattress” a Disney spoof on the “Princess and the Pea,” performing with Carol Burnett and Tracy Ullman. Her Italian parents moved to Canada and brought their love of music with them. Ramolo’s dad plays guitar, accordion and harmonica and her mom, a teacher, sings and has often performed in the schools. Creativity seems to flow from the Ramolo household like trickles of water flowing into a river and gaining force. Andrea is not the only recording artist. Her brother, Matthew Ramolo, also has broken free from the confines of the regular work force and been picked up by the recording label Constellation Records.

With a teaching degree as back up, Andrea has done quite a lot of substitute teaching in the past. “I love kids,” said Ramolo, “But performing is my first love. I don’t want to grow old and wonder what if and have regrets. I have sung all my life. I started performing when I was 6 or 7,” and as much as she likes acting, she did not like the uncertainty of it the waiting game - waiting for the agent to call, waiting to audition and waiting to see if she got the part. “Being a musician is more about a strong work ethic,” Andrea stated. “You can book your own gigs and do as much as you want. You can make your own living.” Ramolo picked up the guitar at the age of 21 when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer to help her get through their family’s crisis. “That’s when I really started crafting my own songs,” Ramolo admitted.

Now in her late twenties, Ramolo is looking forward with new enthusiasm. She was recently awarded a FACTOR (Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent on Recordings) grant in the amount of $42,000. FACTOR has helped many Canadian artists fulfill their dreams. Broken Social Scene, Caribou, Blue Rodeo, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, George Canyon and The Higgins are among the benefactors. “FACTOR is dedicated to providing assistance toward the growth and development of the Canadian independent recording industry,” states their website.

Ramolo will be working on her next album with producer Tim Thorney who has been instrumental in the career of Alanis Morisette and Jimmy Rankin. He himself is a singer, songwriter and record producer and co-founder of Tattoo Sound + Music. Ramolo is working towards a spring release for her next album and a tour to follow with a full band. With her incredible voice, fun loving truly Canadian personality and dance moves to boot, Ramolo is not just a dot on the horizon, but a jet flying in fast. She has the talent and the backing, now she just needs the recognition. - Summerland Review

"Winter won't stop road warrior Andrea Ramolo and chanteuse Cindy Doire from touring"

Andrea Ramolo (left) Cindy Doire (right)
Photo: Photo courtesy Karan Simpson

The sultry singing duo may need winter tires though. At a time of the year when most musicians refuse to tour due to unpredictable cold weather, the pair will start out on their "We Don't Care That It's Winter" tour. Their two week December tour will feature twelve shows in Ontario and Quebec including one stop in Toronto on Friday December 11 at the Local.

Andrea and Cindy first met through mutual friends six years ago at the Orbit Room. There their instant connection began. In the days that followed, they did what most Toronto singers do when starting their careers, they met for early morning coffees, wrote and sang songs together.

The combination of friendship, business sense and artistry they shared led them to book shows throughout Toronto over the next few years. Andrea calls it, “Helping each other out with critical decisions that indie artists have to make.”

Ramolo has become known as the "tireless road warrior." Following the release of her first album "Thank You For the Ride" in 2008 she set out to book herself an 80 show five month 40,000 km national tour. It’s the kind of tour most Toronto musicians can only dream of.

Independently Andrea and Cindy have had more than their share of touring and critical success. From the prestigious Hugh’s Room in Toronto to every café, bar, concert hall, and outdoor stage anywhere in Canada’s east and west coasts, Ontario, Quebec and the Yukon, they have played just about every locale imaginable.

Among her 2008 performances Andrea appeared at a half dozen fairs and festivals. She also won the Toronto Exclusive Magazine awards for Best Female Folk Artist, Best Folk Album, and Best Blues Song. Anyone who has seen her perform knows she is more than just folk. Her presence onstage is often described as ‘”fearless, raw, tough, funny, sexy.”

Cindy Doire's premier album La Vie en Bleu was released in 2007. Along with being nominated for several awards, Cindy received the Meilleur Découverte at the Gala des Prix Trille Or. Her second album Chapeau de Pluie received the OCFF Songs From the Heart award. She is recording a third album, this time an English language one. Cindy’s northern roots and mastery of French, English and Spanish languages show through in her precise multilingual songwriting and performances.

Beyond the festivals and awards, it is the onstage presence of the two that no one word can capture. "Sultry, boot-stompin' magic." Expect fishnets and great harmonies.

Andrea recalls their first show was at the Boat in Kensington Market. The two have since shared the stage together many times. Cindy sings backup vocals on Andrea's album and Andrea sings harmony vocals on Cindy's. "Mama's Last Song" a co-written song appears in English and French on their respective albums. Both have new recordings currently being produced.

In Andrea's own words, the tour is, "a celebration of voices, of our friendship, and of femininity."

The sole Toronto concert for Andrea and Cindy on their “We Don’t Care That it’s Winter” tour will be Friday December 11 at the Local in Roncesvalles Village. They promise to play all night.

And in Quebec they will need those winter tires. It’s the law.

Full Ontario and Quebec touring details for Andrea Ramolo and Cindy Doire are available on Facebook online. - The Examiner

"Deconstructing Singer/Songwriter Andrea Ramolo Part 2"

My initial impression of Andrea Ramolo, when I met her, can be summed up into two words: “Bold” and “Outdoorsy”. Why? When I approached her, she spoke to me as if she already knew me, like an old friend, like no introduction was necessary. The outdoorsy part, well her attire screamed indie folk songstress (in a good way).

In the second part of the interview, Andrea opened up with a lot more personal stories. I asked her about life on tour, her song writing, her upcoming album, and even about FACTOR. I asked her about FACTOR because, as she is someone who has successfully gone through the application process, her explanations might help other indie music artists who may be unsure how to apply.

Andrea Ramolo interview pt. 2
Canadian Invader: How has your sound/music evolved since “Thank You For The Ride”?

Andrea Ramolo: I was a novice songwriter and hadn’t actually played many live shows of original music before the recording of the album. The new songs are more sophisticatedly crafted and have a lot more soul I think. Also, I’m more comfortable with my guitar now, so I’m able to play in different styles and experiment with sound and arrangements. I feel like I challenge myself a lot more and have found a way to write songs that really fit with the sound of my voice and my abilities as a musician.

CI: When do you think the next album is going to be released?

AR: Hmmm…tough to say? We’re recording in the fall so it could be released in the winter or next spring, right before touring season. It’s real tough to tour in the winter. We did it a bunch this year and it’s just really cold. Sleeping in the van is not an option.

CI: On a long tour, what do you do to protect your voice from burning out?

AR: Good monitors for the stage are essential. We’re traveling with our own this year. If I can’t hear my voice, I tend to push it too hard because I’m unsure if the audience can hear it. That’s a sure way to burn it out. I also drink tons of water and take vitamins because getting sick on the road is by far the worst; especially when you live in a van.

CI: Are you bringing a backing band or will it be just you and Jason on this tour?

AR: For this tour, we’ll be doing it as a duo again. Jason plays enough instruments and has enough stage presence for an entire band. Plus, it’s more cost efficient to tour with only two people and less headaches because you only have to accommodate, and be accommodated by, one other person. We’ve been playing music together now for almost two years so we know each other’s playing styles and I love the quirky, creative instrumentation that Jason adds to my music. I’ll continue to play with Jason but the tours following the release of the new album will most likely be backed by a full band.

CI: Your songs are intense, are you constantly writing new material on the road or do you need space and time outside of touring to do it?

AR: Many of the songs on my first album came from poetry I wrote and life experiences that I needed to capture. I write lyrics best when I’m alone but I love collaborating and I get tons of ideas when Jason and I, or Tim and I are jamming. A cool riff or lyric line will come to mind and I jot it down wherever I am. I travel with my many notebooks and they’re on me at all times in case I get inspired. Sometimes it’s easier to communicate with someone through song and so I do. I’m a very honest person (some would call me blunt) and it comes out through my songwriting.

CI: What inspires you to write a song? Do you have to be in a certain mood artistically to focus, or is it completely organic?

AR: People, places, heartbreaks, love, loss, friendship, a single moment all act as inspiration. I do have to be in a certain head-space to really work on a tune, but again when I’m inspired, I’ll jot something down and return to it and finish it when I have time to do so. It’s hard to write on the road because there is so much to see and do and so many people to hang with. These are the things that make for good writing so I don’t pressure myself to get a song done. It usually finishes itself. And is a song really ever finished? It’s like a painting – you can always return to it and add more colour or different lines and shapes, but there has to be a moment where you say, “this creation says what I want it to” and just leave it behind.

CI: Are your songs based on your life experiences like a reflection of what you were going through at the time?

AR: Most of my songs are based on personal experiences… and I can get very personal. “Owl Eyes” was written during my mother’s battle with breast cancer. The CIBC Run for the Cure used the song on their blog web site for their 2009 campaign. “Aching Body” was about the deterioration of my last relationship. “Simple Song” was written and dedicated to a group of my best friends after a night of us dancing half-naked in the rain and feeling like children again.

A few of the newer tunes are stories based on historical figures. “The Ballad of Klondike Kate” is a part fact, part fictional retelling of the famous burlesque, tap dancer who made loads of money and male fans during the Klondike Gold Rush. I became interested in her and the many other female performers when we were up in Dawson City last year. I have an east coast shanty-type song called “Eastern Shore” that is about both the fishermen of Nova Scotia who died at sea and left their lady loves behind them, and my own battle with unrequited love.

I have one quirky song called “Peaches” that’s about living in a van on tour and not being able to keep my legs shaven. The chorus line sings “My legs may get hairy but you say they feel like peaches anyways.” It usually gets a chuckle. I went through a pretty bad depression this past winter just from being back from the road and experiencing some intense winter ‘blahs’, so many of my new songs are written from that dark place and trying to find some light in that darkness.

CI: What do you do on tour in your spare time? Is touring boring?

AR: Touring is far from boring. It’s the most exciting thing and I’m so blessed that I get to do it. Jason is also the best guy to tour with because we both love nature and the wild and like to go into the bush and explore. We’ve been through a handful of adventures…from hiking up and down Joffre Mountain with a sprained ankle, to hanging out at Liard Hot Springs near summer solstice where the sun never sets, to taking our $20 blow up boat out onto glacier waters and lakes so that Jason can fish for our supper. He’s an avid fisherman. We did a lot of exploring in the woods and up the mountains all across this country. We also like to hit every Value Village or Salvation Army in every town we stop in to see if there are any good deals or if we can find creative gadgets to use for our show somehow. We rarely eat out. Instead, we fire up our camping stove or BBQ and buy cheap, healthy food at grocery stores. We really embrace the nomad lifestyle when we’re traveling which proves to be more cost efficient, and a lot of fun. We’re good at it. Not having a kitchen or bathroom means that we have to be very resourceful.

CI: If you could share the stage and perform with a contemporary musician, who would it be and why?

AR: I’d love to do a tune with Hawksley Workman. I think he’s by far one of the most talented musicians and performers that this country has to offer. His voice and ability is incredible and his live shows are filled with sex appeal, heart-wrenching honesty, poetry, and theatricality, which are all aspects of performance that I’m drawn to as an audience member and performer.

CI: Can you tell us about FACTOR and how it has helped you because I think it may help other indie artists who have no clue what the organization does?

AR: The FACTOR thing is still very new. Thorniac Records applied for an album grant for my project, and they agreed to supply quite a bit of money to account for 50% of the album. I’m very grateful to both FACTOR and Kim and Tim. FACTOR stands for the Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent on Recordings, and they grant money to Canadian music professionals to help them further along their projects. Many of my indie music friends (Cindy Doire and Ory No’Man) have received demo grants from the foundation. You just need to apply and follow the submission criteria. You may have to apply over and over again until you’re granted some money. I have applied for government music grants a number of times and have never gotten anything. There’s a lot of talent in this country!

- Canadian Invader

"Deconstructing Singer/Songwriter Andrea Ramolo"

Singer/songwriter’s are usually well respected for their finely crafted songs and lyrical poetry, yet many times they are plain hard to understand and relate to. Enter Andrea Ramolo, the Toronto based indie artist, who is currently on a 90+ show tour which will take her and bandmate Jason Skiendziel all across Canada. Her musical path is one of relentless touring that helps her see the great outdoors and experience life to the fullest. I had a chance to chat with her after the tour’s kickoff show in Toronto at the Bread and Circus. It was interesting to say the least.

If you’re not aware, Andrea Ramolo is a rising folk/country singer/songwriter who’s lyrics are inflamed with passion and expressive openness. Although from Toronto, she sure doesn’t like it as she’s all folk, roots, a little bit country, and a little bit of blues.

She doesn’t come across in any way as a big city person, but that could be because of her dedication to touring and playing live shows. She plays guitar, sings with everything she’s got, and is always on the move (literally). Her first album “Thank You For The Ride” (2008) was a direct result of her drive to get things done independently first, and calling in favours as she will explain. “Thank You For The Ride” is a full on folk album and a wonderful achievement. The production value is, in my opinion, great for a first CD,A but Andrea says the next one will be “way” better! Although the guitar and techniques used in the songs may not be, according to Andrea herself, the most complex, there is a sweetness and consistency in the LP that makes it enjoyable to hear. Her vocals are pleasant in a folky way, yet there is enough grit in her delivery to add that special something. Although all of the songs are good, my favourites were “Simple Song”, “Mama’s Last Song”, “Oh Brother”, and “Thank You For The Ride”.

Consistent with my habit of being late, I arrived at The Bread and Circus to discover that I had missed Andrea Ramolo’s performance and wondered if she had stayed for our interview. What really surprised me, was how down to earth and relaxed she was about my absence. We had a quick chat and set up a later time to conduct the interview over the net. As you can clearly see, she replied with open honesty to all of Canadian Invader’s questions.

Andrea Ramolo interview pt. 1
Canadian Invader: You’re obviously an accomplished performer playing all over the country. I am just wondering what made you want to become a musician initially?

Andrea Ramolo: I started my life in the performing arts as a competitive dancer, training about 4-5 days a week since the age of 3 and travelling all over Canada and the U.S. for national competitions and pageants. I always sang as a young girl and became involved in many aspects of performance. Once I quit competitive dancing, I got into acting in Toronto. I had an agent and booked a few commercials, indie Toronto theatre, and danced and sang in Disney’s ABC “Once Upon a Mattress” starring Carol Burnett, Tracey Ullman, Tommy Smothers, and Zoey Deschannels. My life as a musician sort of kicked off when I sang Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” as a grade 10 student in front of the entire student body and was given a roaring standing ovation. From there, I continued writing my own songs and poetry. After university, I worked as a karaoke host in Toronto and became the female voice of Toronto’s cover band ‘Stifler’s Mom’ which was made up of players from Hawskley Workman, Serena Ryder, Thornley, Big Sugar, Sass Jordan, and more. We headlined the New Year’s Eve gala at Toronto’s famous Sassafraz in Yorkville. I love writing and sharing my stories and life with different audiences and I love singing. I feel most at ease and stress-free when I’m on stage playing a show.

CI: What’s kept you in the game? What’s kept you driven to have the persistence at ‘making it’?

AR: I’m extremely ambitious and hard-working. I’ve always fought for what I wanted in life and that’s just a character trait. I’m sensitive but have tough skin and am resilient, which are two necessary things to have in this business. A lot of it is ‘do-it yourself’ work and you need to be self-motivated and have the skills to communicate with people, touch people, and make people want to come out and see a show or buy an album. I realized quickly that a life in the arts was the only life I could have. There’s nothing that I enjoy doing more. So… really, at this point, I have no choice but to keep trucking. ‘Making it’ to me is just being able to do what I love. Paying the bills is secondary but it does help when you are being recognized for artistic contributions and compensated accordingly. Most of us live way below the poverty line. It’s a pretty sacrificial career choice… but again, a fulfilling one.

CI: Have you used the same van on every tour? Or are you using a bus now? Do you drive the bus too?

AR: Last year we had an older GMC Safari van that we named Roberta. She broke down a few times and added some stress to the tour so this year I bought a newer and bigger van… a Ford E150. Jason built a bunk bed out of wood and we sleep in there when we’re between gigs. Jason does most of the driving but I help out when he needs a break.

CI: I’m assuming you like touring if you’ve done so many tours already. Why? What’s the appeal/purpose of being on the road so much? Don’t you miss home when you are on long tours?

AR: I do miss aspects of home but my ‘home’ has been really transient for the last couple of years. Since the release of the album in 2008, I’ve been on the road quite a bit. As an indie artist, you really need to bring your music directly to the people. I couldn’t stay put in Toronto and hope that people across the country will simply become fans based on hearing my music on the internet through crappy computer speakers. Plus, I’m a live performing artist. The live show is where my heart is and so, I tour so much so that I can reach as many audiences across our country as possible. Plus, I love seeing our country… all the little nooks and crannies.

CI: What are some of your favourite/memorable shows you have performed and Why?

AR: We loved the Yukon last year. The landscape up there is unreal and the audiences really appreciated the shows. Our best show was the World Skills Festival on the Calgary Stampede grounds on my birthday. We had already made our way from the east coast back to Toronto and they flew us out, picked us up in a Lincoln navigator, put us up at the Marriot, payed us well, and to top it all off, we got to play for over 10,000 adolescents. The festival was in its fifty-something year, and it happens in a different city and country every year to celebrate youth skills. It was amazing.

CI: What’s the deal with the hat? Why do you wear it so much, is it just your style?

AR: I started wearing knit toques years ago, mostly because I was always cold and needed to keep my little head warm. Now, it’s just habit. I always wear big hats. I guess it’s become my trademark.

CI: Are you a self-taught musician or were you “trained” growing up? (here’s your chance to give some shout outs!).

AR: I took a year of vocal lessons when I was a pre-teen. Beyond that, I always just dabbled with instruments. I come from a musical family. My mom has a great voice and my dad (being Italian and all) plays a bit of the accordion, concertina, and harmonica. We had an old Yamaha keyboard in my house growing up and we’d all kind of sit around the kitchen and play and sing songs. My dad also had an old 1950’s guitar that he would play. When I broke up with my childhood sweetheart after university and my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, I picked up my dad’s guitar and taught myself how to play. I’m not much of an instrumentalist, but I was able to learn enough chords and become comfortable enough with the instrument that I could write my songs and express myself through music. Jason (my sidekick) taught me a bit of mandolin over the years, so I sometimes play a song or two on his mandolin. And I’ve recently picked up a bit of bass guitar, melodica, and glockenspiel. I did a few small tours with my very good friend, bilingual artist Cindy Doire, and we backed each other up on these instruments and harmony vocals. I love singing with her.

CI: Was it good for you to have started out doing everything yourself, booking shows, arranging things, writing and performing your music? Did this help your artistic development or did it just help you learn the music business better?

AR: It helped in all aspects. I really busted my butt and worked hard at getting to know the ins and outs of the business. I’m a bit of a control freak and really love planning and organizing so it all sort of fell into place. I have a great network of people around me who are friends, fellow musicians, fans, and supporters. My publicist, Richard Flohil, who has been in this biz for years and years and is really a guru and music industry icon in this country, became a friend and fan a few years back and really helped jump-start my career. He organized our first show at Toronto’s infamous Hugh’s Room opening for Steve Earle’s sister Stacey and her partner Mark Stuart. We’ve headlined our own show since and my first album has had some decent rotation on the CBC and CKUA among other indie stations across the country. I’ve also learned a lot along the way from my musical colleagues, jumping on tours with them and gaining inspiration. Contacts have been shared and we really just help each other out as best as we can.

CI: What are your top five songs currently playing on your iPod?

AR: Well I don’t have an iPod anymore as it melted in the sun. Jason and I use his on the road and really listen to everything from Lucinda Williams and Emmy Lou Harris, to Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker (another great Toronto act that Jason plays with sometimes), Hawskley Workman, our pals the Good Lovelies (who just won their first Juno award), Gogol Bordello, Bob Dylan, Mary Gauthier, Ani DiFranco. Man… there’s tons. We listen to everything. Old bluegrass, Canadiana, even reggae. Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Seegar Sessions’ is by far one of our favourites.

CI: When are you going in to the studio for the second album?

AR: I’ll be hitting the studio when I’m back from this crazy long tour. Probably by the end of September, early October. My producer (Tim Thorney) and I have been working really hard on re-arranging the tunes and getting some decent demos prepared before we hit the road. Working with him has been just amazing! He’s a genius and really knows how to craft a song and create something that people want to listen to.

CI: How is it going to be different this time?

AR: Well, I think it will be more cohesive. I paid for the first album out of my own pocket and a lot of people did favours for me (musicians and engineers). The guys at Back Room studios were amazing (Leo and Anthony). They worked their butts off and believed in the project and for a first album, I was quite happy. I made a lot of the decisions myself, however, and I think I was still really new at everything in terms of choosing the CD artwork and the instrumentation of the songs. My playing and songwriting has evolved quite a bit since then and I think this second album will reach a lot more people. Plus, I have total faith in Thorney that the production value will be top notch.

CI: You mentioned you’re working with a new label which is an umbrella label for Universal. So does that mean your next album could be a major release?

AR: I’m still not exactly sure how all that label stuff works but I’m sure the second album will be much more accessible to the public. The thing is, the music industry is so different nowadays and people tend to download music rather than purchase a CD. We’re in different times. But I’ll be working with this new team – Kim Zayac and Tim Thorney (who own Thorniac Records) and wherever the album gets sold is fine by me. I just want to make music and play shows.

Keep your eye out for part 2 of the Andrea Ramolo interview!

In the meantime, enjoy her video for “Thank You for the Ride” - Canadian Invader

"CD Review: Andrea Ramolo - 'Thank You For The Ride'"

Andrea Ramolo – Thank You For The Ride
2008, Andrea Ramolo

Andrea Ramolo is a name you should know. I rather suspect you’ll be hearing a lot more of her over the next few years. Ramolo is a Toronto singer-songwriter with a penchant for gritty country/rock story songs in the vein of Emmylou Harris. If you saw Disney’s Once Upon A Mattress then you’ve seen/heard her before. Ramolo played one of the Dancing Ladies in the made-for-TV movie alongside the likes of Carol Burnett and Tom Smothers while recording two songs for the soundtrack. The former lead vocalist of Toronto’s Stifler’s Mom and co-lead of Oliver Piggot and the Dropshire Daddies greets October of 2008 with her debut album, Thank You For The Ride.

Ramolo has an earthy voice that’s sensual and fiery and full of life. She can project the vocal gravity of Stevie Nicks, the homey comfort of Emmylou Harris or the pure raw energy of Janis Joplin, often within the same song. As a songwriter Ramolo is a first-class talent, using the broad brush of lyrical narrative to infuse characters, places and events with vibrant panache. Thank You For The Ride is an earthy and unadulterated trip through Ramolo’s baser instincts; Longing for connections from the spiritual to the emotional to the physical.

Miss Uncensored has a sway and lilt that stands in stark counterpoint to the purely animalistic desire and confidence that pervades the song. The logical dissonance is overwhelmed by the pure melodic delight of the song and the sharply emotional delivery by Ramolo. Lovesick Blues has an old-time country feel to it that is as period as it is universal. This has the potential to be a classic. Late Night Lovin’ turns up the heat with a gritty, raw song about pure unadulterated human sexuality. Andrea Ramolo matches the subject matter with perhaps one of the most sensual vocal performances you’ve heard in a while. It’s not over-the-top or campy, but stands as a pure and dark monologue of the heart and libido. Even the guitar solo drips with pheromones and sweat. Other highlights include Aching Body, Oh Brother, Not My Story and Thank You For The Ride.

Andrea Ramolo sings from the heart. As the lead track suggests, there are no filters here. What you get is pure Andrea Ramolo, where in hunger, excitement, despair, longing or remorse. After hearing Thank You For The Ride it’s no surprise that SOCAN will be hosting her for two weeks of writing and a music showcase in Nashville, TN. Andrea Ramolo has star written all over her. Thank You For The Ride should be a critical darling in the music world and help establish Ramolo as one of music’s rising stars.

Rating: 5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Andrea Ramolo at Thank You For The Ride will be released on October 30, 2008 at a show at Toronto’s The Dakota Tavern. Rumor has it that Ramolo is devastating live, so catch the show if you’re in the area. Keep checking Andrea Ramolo’s MySpace page for retail availability. In the mean time you can listen to tracks there!
Posted by Wildy at 5:05 AM 0 comments
- Wildy's World

"Andrea Ramolo / Toronto, Canada / Folk - Rock, Blues"

We are rapidly closing in on saying goodbye to April, which leaves only eight more months in 2010 and singer – songwriter Andrea Ramolo is heavily booked for gigs until the end of the year, a testament to her skill as a storyteller and a prolific ballad writer. However, we are quite sure that Ms. Ramolo would be only to happy to see if she can fit your venue in on one of her tours. Performing in an intimate Toronto venue on April 20th, Andrea Ramolo opened her hour long set, with “Mama’s Last Song,” and if you are looking for a good comparison in terms of the passionate vocals and the guitar riffs that she brings to her performances you need look no further than Boston based singer-songwriter Eilen Jewell or Canada’s Serena Ryder. Whereas Eilen Jewell is backed by a band, Ms. Ramolo is accompanied only by Jason Skiendziel who thinks that he is a band! Mr. Skiendzeil recently badly injured his hand in an accident, leaving him one-handed for the evening, and one can only imagine what types of musical magic the man produces when he has both hands, but more on that later.

Next Andrea Ramolo played a blues shuffle on her acoustic guitar while performing “Lovesick Blues,” a song which allows her to showcase her soulful vocals, as she paints a picture of a tearful, withdrawn woman who is as you would suspect experiencing the “Lovesick Blues.”

Like a lot of good songwriters, Ms. Ramolo’s ballads are often inspired by her travels, and the seeds for “The Ballad of Klondike Kate,” were planted during a trip to Dawson City, Yukon in Canada’s far north, and hearing the stories of the Gold Rush days. Andrea Ramolo’s song is a slow meandering tale of the infamous Klondike Kate. A historical controversy exists as to which of two women has the right to claim the moniker Klondike Kate (Katherine Ryan or Kathleen Rockwell), but it would appear that Ms. Ramolo’s story is more in tune with the life of Kathleen Rockwell the notorious dancer and vaudeville performer than it is with Katherine Ryan the gold inspector and first female constable of the North West Mounted Police (now the Royal Canadian Mounted Police). Jason Skiendziel switched instruments, from the three-string handcrafted bass guitar he had been playing, as he now accompanied Ms. Ramolo using his right hand to tap out percussion on a djembe.

Andrea Ramolo debuted her rootsy song “Stop,” a missive about making sure that you take time to breathe in the midst of the pressures and stresses of life. Ms. Ramolo’s ability to be in the moment was evidenced by her highly emotive vocals as Jason Skiendziel accompanied her, this time blowing into a didgeridoo, and this writer being a fan of the ancient instrument invented by the indigenous people of Australia, would like to tip his hat to Mr. Skindziel, as he put on an inspiring performance in this song and during the bluegrass tune “Oh Brother.” While it may not seem to be a big leap to go from bluesy and rootsy songs to singing bluegrass, not all singers are able to crossover as easily as Andrea Ramolo. She seems to relish interacting with her audience and “Oh Brother,” gave her the opportunity to encourage her fans to sing along with her.

Another highlight from Andrea Ramolo’s set was “City of Losers,” not inspired by her opinion of a particular city, but more from encountering a group of men who kept repeating this phrase. We are going to save Ms Ramolo from being besieged by letters, by not revealing the name of the city. If you want to know it, you will have to attend one of her concerts. She covered “In The Pines,” (also known by two other names), often associated with the legendary blues musician Lead Belly, but which is thought to date back to the southern Appalachian mountains of the 1870’s, and Ms. Ramolo once again impressed with her soulful vocals.

Andrea Ramolo’s concert concluded with her passionate and heartfelt letter to a former lover “Thank You for the Ride,” as she thanks him for the “ride,” expressing sadness that he could not give her what he could not understand and that she in turn was unable to make him come alive. In listening to this song again on her website, we recalled how our readers were impressed with Ms. Ramolo’s music, but this is truly one artist who must be listened to and seen in concert to be truly appreciated. Andrea Ramolo’s vocals come across much better live and she seemed to benefit from an excellent sound engineer and mix, as the concert was being broadcast live. She is not only a good singer and a guitarist, but Andrea Ramolo is also a good entertainer, who engages her audience easily.

You can listen to the music of Andrea Ramolo by visiting her myspace site.

April 20th, 2010 - Reviewed by Publisher and Senior Editor for Riveting Riffs Magazine Joe Montague

"Press Quotes"

Andrea is a “young tunesmith, who comes with her fair share of fire and attitude” (Peter North, The Edmonton Journal).

“The Toronto-based singer has the whiskey-soaked (journalese for blues-y) pipes to land a song straight into your cerebral cortex” (The Vancouver Courier).

Andrea’s music is “… sultry, raw, emotional, and unabashedly honest” (Evan Careen, High River Times).

“As a songwriter Ramolo is a first-class talent, using the broad brush of lyrical narrative to infuse characters, places, and events with vibrant panache” (Wildy’s World Online Review).

“If there’s one thing that isn’t lacking for Miss Uncensored, it’s the ability to speak her mind. Ramolo has been praised for her unabashed approad to songwriting, telling it how it is in singles like Lovesick Blues, Owl Eyes, and the album’s title track” (Simon Druker, Stony Plain Reporter).

"There's nothing wrong with a late-night listen to Andrea Ramolo, even an all-day listen, mind you. It's sexy smoky stuff, expecially the inviting "Late Night Lovin'," while "Owl Eyes" shows a poppier side with its warm and beautiful message to women fighting breast cancer. Ramolo's voice has character, not unlike a Serena Ryder or Damnhait Doyle, the kind that lingers after the song is over.
(Karen Bliss, Canadian music journalist)

"Andrea's voice is fantastic. You get instant comfort hearing it. It's one of the best qualities a singer could have. Sultry and powerful." (Juno-award winning producer Jeff "Diesel" Dalziel - Liam Titcomb, Chantal Kreviazuk, Esthero, The Philosopher Kings, Oh Susanna!)
- -


*2011 release "The Shadows and the Cracks"
Produced by Tim Thorney. Distributed by MDM Conveyor/Universal.

1) O Brother
2) Whole Life Running
3) Cold in the City
4) Stop
5) The Girl at the Tobacco Counter
6) Just You
7) Eastern Shore
8) Freedom in America
9) Gettin' So Old
10) Please Don't

*2008 release "Thank You For The Ride":
1) Miss Uncensored
2) A Little While
3) Lovesick Blues
4) Simple Song
5) Late Night Lovin'
6) Mama's Last Song
7) Aching Body
8) Oh Brother
9) Owl Eyes
10) Not My Story
11) Wolfman
12) Thank You For The Ride

A selection of the above songs are in rotation on Canada's CBC Radio 1, 2, and 3, as well as CKUA, Halifax's online radio station "Women of the 90's," and various folk playlists in North America.



Andrea has been called the antidote to too much Joni Mitchell.  She’s been compared to Jolie Holland,  Gillian Welch, Natalie Merchant, and Canada’s own Serena Ryder; but Ramolo has a sound that is all her own.  Drawing stories from her travels, loves, and losses, her songs and voice ooze vulnerability. Beautifully woven narratives and raw delivery pull you in, force you to smile, break your heart and mend it all over again. She is a born performer - fearless, raw, and soulful.

After releasing her debut album “Thank You For the Ride” in October of 2008, Andrea Ramolo became known as the “tireless road warrior,” living out of her van for a few years and taking her songs all over Canada from coast to coast and up to the Yukon, as well as the United States and Europe.  

In March of 2011, Andrea released her second FACTOR supported album with producer Tim Thorney (Alanis Morissette, Jimmy Rankin).  This album granted her a 2011 Canadian Folk Music Award Nomination for Best Emerging Artist in Canada.   In 2012, Andrea joined bilingual singer-songwriter Cindy Doire to form the Canadian vocal duo SCARLETT JANE. In this formation, the duo has been travelling and touring incessantly across Canada and over to Europe, has been present on major radio charts, and has performed at prestigious Canadian folk festivals.  The duo was also nominated for two Canadian Folk Music Awards in 2012.

Andrea has had the pleasure of singing at Toronto’s famous Massey Hall and has shared the stage with Gordon Lightfoot, Ron Sexsmith, Tom Wilson, Lee Harvey Osmond, the Skydiggers, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Adam Cohen, Stacey Earle, Fred Eaglesmith, Shari Ulrich, and Linda McRae, to name a handful.  She is also a dancer, an actor and a folk festival favourite She has lent her vocal talents to recordings for Lee Harvey Osmond, Paul Reddick, The Trews, Martha and the Muffins, Cindy Doire, and more.

Ramolo is also one of the founding members of a Canadian female music collective called Ladies in Waiting, which acts as a supportive creative and promotional platform for female musicians in Canada.  The collective has released two recorded compilations over the past few years and continues to grow, flourish, and support its female network.

For further information, please contact:

Richard Flohil & Associates
416 351-1323

On the web: