Chip Raman

Chip Raman

 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
SoloFolkSinger/Songwriter

Philly based contemporary singer/songwriter bringing stories of personal growth, sweetly echoing love songs, and incisive social commentary. Chip is a versatile solo artist with lyrics that speak spiritually and emotionally to these uncertain times. In Raman's music, one can hear influences from CSN,Y, Bob Dylan, to Phil Ochs and Pete Seeger but with an attachment to today's listener. Fans of all ages, of any conception of “rock music”, will enjoy these CDs.

Biography

PHILLY BASED SINGER/SONGWRITER CHIP RAMAN OFFERS HOPE FOR A
NEW GENERATION OF FOLK/ROCKERS

Philadelphia based singer-songwriter Chip Raman has been exploring the deep and mysterious places where music touches the heart since the Eighties, when he was lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist in the popular Philly band Allies. Local heroes on South Street throughout the decade, despite playing mellow rock in a town founded on classic soul, Allies performed “two of theirs and one of ours” by mixing covers of Neil Young, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Jackson Browne and Bob Seger with Raman’s earliest tunes. This was just the beginning of Raman’s fascinating two-decade journey of soul searching and development as a versatile solo artist with lyrics that speak spiritually and emotionally to these uncertain times.

Intensely personal yet powerfully universal, his songwriting mixes stories of personal growth, sweetly echoing love songs, and incisive social commentary. 

The overall spiritual vibe of his music is also reflected in Raman’s choice as producer to include a small choir of friends on several songs. He got the inspiration  at a midnight campfire at the Texas famed Kerrville Folk Festival (where he has been a faithful attendee for 20 years) when friends spontaneously chimed into four part harmonies. 

An accomplished painter who engages in both surrealism and portraits of people and concepts like brotherhood, Chip has covered most of his home studio with large paintings and installations. Examples of Raman’s stunning work can be found  at www.chipraman.com

Raman didn’t focus on painting until 1996, when he moved back to Philadelphia after eight years in the Berkeley California area, where he honed his writing and performing chops and switched from flat picking to fingerstyle guitar playing. He was a regular at open mics and taking up an informal residency at Berkeley, CA's community arts organization, the Freight and Salvage.

Raman has he taught music, arts, and poetry to gifted children.  He spent several years as a counselor working with children and adolescents with emotional and psychiatric disorders.  

These days, Chip divides his time into recording music, painting, woodworking, and writing about the creative process.   


Lyrics

The Post-It Note

Written By: Chip Raman

The Post –it Note (Copyright 2007, BMI)

That old Post-it Note was stuck up there so long
It was like part of the wallpaper
There was a faded phone number on it,
But nobody in the office knew whose it was
So one day, just because I was a little curious
I climbed up on my desk reached up to get it
I decided I would call I hoped I wouldn’t regret it
Seemed like a good idea I whipped out my Nokia
Nervously I smiled as I dialed

“Hello, this is God” a voice said matter-of-factly.
“Almighty?” I asked “Exactly”
“Wow ,is this a good time?”
“All time is good… and I have all the time in the world.
I was just mixing up a batch of stars
For the outer stratosphere of Mars.
Is something on your mind, my friend?”

There was only silence on my end…my heart pounded
I was astounded, ungrounded, dumbfounded

“Well, if you don’t have any special request …
There’s a thing or two I could get off my chest…

“You people never cease to amaze me.
You fight over borders on an earthly sphere.
The world is round it’s that simple
How can I make it any more clear?
How can I favor one race?
How can I detest any face ?
Every body has their place or they wouldn’t be there.

You wage war over words in my sacred book
I highly advise you take deeper look.
I’m talking Biblical distortions of global proportions
I know you’re only human, but
There’s blood on the sand of my supposed Holy Land
I do not understand your war….

God paused then sighed
“This is the part that’s tough,
I can not stress it enough….

There’s a whole lot of children in a whole lot of pain.
Something better be done about it.
If you don’t tend to your children,
It will all go down the drain.
Maybe, I ought to shout it out on the wind,
And the ocean’s roar.
Listen to your hearts, that’s what they’re for.

I guess it won’t be long before you all have
Your cell phones surgically implanted in your skulls.
It’s not part of my Creation Design,
But if it improves communication, that’s fine.
Can you hear me now? I am wireless.
I am Who Am. I am on your side.”

Suddenly my boss appeared frantically tapping an invisible watch
that wasn’t on his wrist
He karate chopped his neck, which meant he insisted
I get off the phone.

“God, I have to go.” “I know”

“Always remember, there are mega-tons of Beauty unfolding
every moment of every night and day.
It’s just the ugly, disheartening stuff
That gets all the High Definition air play.

“Don’t be discouraged.
Keep the faith.
Love will always conquer hate.”

There are millions and billions of radiant people
That go beyond the strength to cope
They’ve seen the Light and they reflect it
In the middle of the darkest night
They burn as rays of Hope
Take care of yourselves. And each other.”

The disconnection reverberated from
The far corners of the Universe.
But I did not feel alone when I heard the dial tone.
Now I suppose I could leave you wondering what I did
with that number on that old Post-it Note.
Maybe I just let it be
Maybe I played the lottery
Maybe I put it on the Internet
Maybe I tattooed it on my chest
Maybe I stood and stared at it for a while.

Maybe I put it on speed dial.

Chip: guitar, voice, finger cymbal
Don Porterfield: bass

Aspire

Written By: Chip Raman

ASPIRE
From a hum comes a word
Aspiring to be heard
The meaning deep within is where a song begins
A word that stills the air as it’s spoken
Inside a promise kept unbroken

From the stillness comes a move
Fluid, free, and smooth
Proving you are there
It stuns me as I stare
A move that sets my sight on fire
By you my heart’s only desire

From the silence comes a song
It took my whole life long
To find the melody of all you mean to me
A song resounding of a love so true
Filled with the music between me and you

Chip: guitar, voice
Jamie Byrd: voice
Don Porterfield: bass
Chuck Brodsky: piano
River Guerguerian: drums
Dirje Smith: cello

Bustin' Outta Here

Written By: Chip Raman

Bustin’ Outta Here

I’m bustin’ outta here said the Soul to the Heart
I’m gonna go so far from near
But we will never, ever part
I wanna soar on the never-ending wind
Circle back around to where Time begins
Go say “Hey” to Buddha and the Holy Trinity
Shoot beyond the stars and touch infinity

I’m bustin’ outta here said the thought to the mind
I will be perfectly clear the very first of my kind
I want to go where none have gone before
Take a flying leap at mystery’s door
Echoing Pythagoras and Socrates
Postulate a formula for world-wide Peace
I’m bustin’ outta here

I’m bustin’ outta here said the loner to the door
I’m gonna grab whoever’s near And hug 'em down to the core
I wanna wave at the whole world on parade
Show up every time and stop being afraid
Way over indulge in camaraderie
Dive into the sea of Humanity

I’m bustin’ outta here

Edge of the Wind

Written By: Chip Raman

EDGE OF THE WIND

I wonder about the edge of the wind
Where it touches down to ground
If a prayer was there wouldn’t it begin to resound?
And murmur through the leaves of the trees
Bending down to their knees
In a hush along the rivers ‘cross the plains
Rushing toward the city where it multiplies
Cutting corners of the towers that scrape the skies

I wonder about the edge of the sea
Where it reaches for the shore
If a prayer was there wouldn’t it come to be
Something more?
Getting tossed and turned and churned all around
In the glorious sound
Picking up momentum as it rolls
To join the age old chorus of a song that always was
In the voices of a hundred million Souls

I wonder about the edge of a song
Where it touches someone’s heart
If a prayer was there wouldn’t it be twice as strong
As one part?

Our prayer for Peace is on the wing
From a whisper to a roar
A choir of misfit angels sings
As our voices blend and soar
Taking to the Heavens high above the clouds
Literally coloring the air
If only for a moment thundering out loud

Peace everywhere

Lonesome Painter

Written By: Chip Raman

LONESOME PAINTER
I’m just a lonesome painter late at night I wander
through the empty chamber where I come face to face
colors so impatient for a stroke of inspiration
drawing out what lies within the task at hand embraced
the blending of the hues roses and deep blues
come to rest while moving through the shadows and the light
the image once concealed is suddenly revealed
I swear I hear the whispered words as I gain insight
SEE ME

I’m just a lonesome singer late at night I conjure
tones and drones and tempos to resound my beating heart
the melody is hiding as notes begin deciding
when and where to surface spill and play their part
filling out the air drifting toward the window
resonating from this blessed vessel of my soul
on a solo flight in the center of the night
my voice rings like a church bell that finally takes its toll
HEAR ME

I’m just a lonesome poet late at night I write it
just the way I see it is the only way I know
words lie undetected ‘til they’re found and resurrected
scrawling lines and circles by the amber candle glow
my mind is set ablaze burning down the page
something said in silence pouring off my chest
sketched between the lines meaning is defined
the passage through I come to terms before I take my rest
BELIEVE ME

I’m just a lonesome person a painter, singer, poet
I haven’t been in love for a long, long time
I know she lies in wait for the turning of our fate
when our lives will merge and we will surge
into an upward climb
Time was never lost as our paths our crossed
we will stand beside ourselves in awe at long last it occurred
on that perfect day engaged in child’s play
I will paint her portrait, sing her praises,
give my solemn word
RECEIVE ME

Chip: guitar, voice
Don Porterfield: bass
Chuck Brodsky: piano

Beautiful

Written By: Chip Raman

BEAUTIFUL

Beautiful that’s the only word
that comes to mind
when I see your face

Beautiful I am so inclined
to bow
before your grace

Beautiful that’s the only sound
whispered
in the still of night

Beautiful like an Angel you astound
Bathing in the blue moonlight

You fill my eyes
you stir my Soul
You steal my breath with ease

You mesmerize
stunning to behold
You bring me to my knees

Beautiful that’s all I can say
in speaking of who you are
Beautiful that’s the only way
I feel when you touch my heart
Beautiful Beautiful
Beautiful


Chip: guitar, voice
Don Porterfield: bass
Chris Rosser: piano
Steve Fisher: guitar
River Guerguerian: drums

Nature of Things

Written By: Chip Raman

Nature of Things
Hey, lucky for me I am comfortable
in the company of strangers that’s always been the case
I remember being just a kid
and looking people straight in the eyes to realize
we are all just about the same behind each face
that is why I can not seem to wrap my mind around
all the useless separation and isolation
what is that all about ?
If we could only glimpse the other side
we would rise to our feet jump up and shout
Alleluia it’s only the nature of things
how silent would the woods be
if only the black bird sings?

At the risk of sounding quite naïve I must confess
I absolutely refuse to believe
we are not nearer to where we ought to be
Ultra-high technology gee it’s the age of communication
but who’s to say what messages get sent
and where the hell civility went
it totally blows my mind
that people can be so blind and unkind
Alleluia it’s only the nature of things
how silent would the woods be
if only the white bird sings?
Alleluia Alleluia Alleluia

Chip: guitar, voice
Don Porterfield: bass
Chris Rosser: piano
River Guerguerian: percussion
Steve Fisher: guitar
David LaMotte: voice Joe Carlson: voice
Chuck Brodsky: voice Darlene: voice
Stefanie Fix: voice Brian Cutean: voice
Adam East: voice Kris Deelane: voice
Jamie Byrd: voice

A Little Change

Written By: Chip Raman

A Little Change

CHORUS
Those Salvation Army bells just keep on ringing
Winter winds begin to rearrange
If you listen you can hear some children singing
To ask the world to spare a little change

I was only seeking inspiration
feeling on the grey side of despair
I’d love to give my usual donation
but my pockets haven’t got a pauper’s prayer
Not a pauper’s prayer

I stood back to watch the sidewalks hopping
all the business men were turning into elves
What could be the reason for them shopping
when the perfect gift ain’t even on the shelves?
It ain’t on the shelves

CHORUS
Those Salvation Army bells just keep on ringing
Winter winds begin to rearrange
If you listen you can hear some children singing
To ask the world to spare a little change

John Lennon’s voice came through the PA system
Into the crowd touching at least one
I wonder if he knows how much I’ve missed him
“Happy Christmas” John what have we done?
What have we done?
Some folks sit and calculate their spending
Other people contemplate the birth
Either way the season is intending to show us all a glimpse of Peace on Earth
Just some Peace on Earth

CHORUS
Those Salvation Army bells just keep on ringing
Winter winds begin to rearrange
If you listen you can hear some children singing
To ask the world to spare a little change

Discography

Edge of a Song released 9/8/07

Set List

Can prepare sets ranging from 25 - 45 minutes depending on the needs of the venue. Evoking various moods depending on the occasion - coffee house feel, deep and pensive, socially conscientous, stunningly poetic love songs etc.