Jonathan Ramsey
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Jonathan Ramsey

St. Louis, Missouri, United States | SELF

St. Louis, Missouri, United States | SELF
Band Folk Celtic

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Murder, suicide, double amputees, haunted flutes, drunken wakes; these are the stuff of Irish songs. Someone once said there was no such thing as a happy Irish song, and Jonathan Ramsey's new compact disk, aptly named "Jonathan Ramsey," is no exception, unless you count "Star of the County Down", but then again, you never find out if the boy gets the girl. At first glance Ramsey doesn't look like your typical Irish songster. With his innocent choirboy looks, you might be expecting a sweet Irish tenor, but when he belts out a hardy, and gritty rendition on the first track, "Johnnie, I Hardly Knew You," you quickly sit up and take notice. The CD is interspersed with quirky songs, ballads, and the standard tunes in every Irish singers repertoire, like "Black Velvet Band". Some of the songs were new to me, but I quickly recognized some of my favorites, like Bobby Sand's sad lament, "Wish I Was Back Home in Derry". Another one of my favorite rebel songs, Come Out You Black and Tans, is also included. Ramsey's rendition of "Step It Out Mary," is also hauntingly beautiful, even though the tale is yet another Irish tragedy. There seems to be a reoccurring theme in some of the songs of women getting their comeuppance over men. It would be hard to find anything to fault in that, especially when the husband is a drunken lout of a man. Ramsey's debut CD can be purchased on-line or at local outlets like Sheehan's, Browne's, and Streetside Records. You can catch Ramsey performing live every Thursday night at Harlings Upstairs. For more information about Ramsey and his debut recording check out his website at www.jonathanramsey.com
--Marsha Lytle - Heart of America Irish Life


Murder, suicide, double amputees, haunted flutes, drunken wakes; these are the stuff of Irish songs. Someone once said there was no such thing as a happy Irish song, and Jonathan Ramsey's new compact disk, aptly named "Jonathan Ramsey," is no exception, unless you count "Star of the County Down", but then again, you never find out if the boy gets the girl. At first glance Ramsey doesn't look like your typical Irish songster. With his innocent choirboy looks, you might be expecting a sweet Irish tenor, but when he belts out a hardy, and gritty rendition on the first track, "Johnnie, I Hardly Knew You," you quickly sit up and take notice. The CD is interspersed with quirky songs, ballads, and the standard tunes in every Irish singers repertoire, like "Black Velvet Band". Some of the songs were new to me, but I quickly recognized some of my favorites, like Bobby Sand's sad lament, "Wish I Was Back Home in Derry". Another one of my favorite rebel songs, Come Out You Black and Tans, is also included. Ramsey's rendition of "Step It Out Mary," is also hauntingly beautiful, even though the tale is yet another Irish tragedy. There seems to be a reoccurring theme in some of the songs of women getting their comeuppance over men. It would be hard to find anything to fault in that, especially when the husband is a drunken lout of a man. Ramsey's debut CD can be purchased on-line or at local outlets like Sheehan's, Browne's, and Streetside Records. You can catch Ramsey performing live every Thursday night at Harlings Upstairs. For more information about Ramsey and his debut recording check out his website at www.jonathanramsey.com
--Marsha Lytle - Heart of America Irish Life


Irish music to me has always brought to mind darkened pubs, a roaring fire, meat off the bone and pints o' Guinness. Then again, just about anything can bring to mind a pint of Guinness ... but I digress. Jonathan Ramsey's self-titled solo CD combines the folk singer with traditional Irish sounds. It's a sparse recording in some ways - Jonathan singing and playing guitar, recorded live in the studio. No fancy stuff, just good music. Ramsey's voice is solid and on the money, but does somewhat lack the traditional Irish burr one would expect. However, that's not really a negative - to my ears of Norwegian descent, I could actually understand the lyrics. The songs are traditional Irish, but all with Ramsey's own touch and original guitar accompaniments. Here's the scorecard: Production: a solid 10. Performance: a solid 10. It's a great CD, with or without a pint. Irish music purists may not accept it at face value, since there are times when he sounds much more American than Irish in his accent, but to me it's a great CD. Check out his Web site at www.jonathanramsey.com. His CD is available online through www.CDBaby.com (don't laugh - it's a good service. I have purchased several CDs through them, and have been quite impressed by their customer service). Three reasons to buy this CD: 1. It's good. Period. 2. You'll support a local musician. 3. It's quite different from the over-processed techno-kludge you'll hear on most radio stations. - X Entertainment Monthly


Jonathan Ramsey played several times for me at Jameson's in Waterloo and what a great performer. Jonathan is a one man show of traditional Irish ballads and folk songs and is always engaging with the crowd. I remember wondering where in the world the percussion was coming from while he was busy strumming his guitar and singing a great old Irish tune. When I discovered it was the wooden box he was standing on I was amazed. Jonathan is a very talented guy and is a genuinely nice guy on top of it all.

--Buck Clark - Buck Clark, Jameson's Irish Pub


Irish music to me has always brought to mind darkened pubs, a roaring fire, meat off the bone and pints o' Guinness. Then again, just about anything can bring to mind a pint of Guinness ... but I digress. Jonathan Ramsey's self-titled solo CD combines the folk singer with traditional Irish sounds. It's a sparse recording in some ways - Jonathan singing and playing guitar, recorded live in the studio. No fancy stuff, just good music. Ramsey's voice is solid and on the money, but does somewhat lack the traditional Irish burr one would expect. However, that's not really a negative - to my ears of Norwegian descent, I could actually understand the lyrics. The songs are traditional Irish, but all with Ramsey's own touch and original guitar accompaniments. Here's the scorecard: Production: a solid 10. Performance: a solid 10. It's a great CD, with or without a pint. Irish music purists may not accept it at face value, since there are times when he sounds much more American than Irish in his accent, but to me it's a great CD. Check out his Web site at www.jonathanramsey.com. His CD is available online through www.CDBaby.com (don't laugh - it's a good service. I have purchased several CDs through them, and have been quite impressed by their customer service). Three reasons to buy this CD: 1. It's good. Period. 2. You'll support a local musician. 3. It's quite different from the over-processed techno-kludge you'll hear on most radio stations. - X Entertainment Monthly


Discography

2008 At Cruisin' Route 66
2003 Jonathan Ramsey
1996 Derry Air (Londonderry Air) - with Bully Ruse
1995 Parting Glass - with Bully Ruse

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Bio

Jonathan Ramsey performs melodic and percussive, brash and sweet, sometimes beautiful, often humorous, Irish-tinged songs.

Audiences expect Jonathan Ramsey shows to include a wild mixture of original and traditional Irish songs of love, hope, and despair; ironic and folk-tinged covers; songs of plans gone painfully awry; and a bit of sassy social discourse. Some songs are gentle and melodic, others are lightning speed. Jonathans guitar, tenor banjo, and stompbox percussion support his Irish tenor voice with plenty of tunes, guitar solos, and a strong and oft-danceable beat.
Jonathan began his musical life early, acting, singing, and playing around the house. Thanks to his musical family and a pair of musically-inclined primary teachers, Jonathan learned the skills to use his overly-active imagination for musical good [instead of evil]. Taking up the guitar, he played with several folk, rock, blues, and jazz groups in his teens. A few years later, Jonathan narrowed his focus to the Irish music he grew up hearing and singing. At this time, he began playing with Bully Ruse, a group he co-founded with Shelly Rao and Mary Hanover. In 1996, Jonathan began performing solo around many Midwest Irish music venues, and across the U.S.
Not one to weep into a beer, he builds up from warm ballads to rebel songs, then on to pint-banging pub songs. Soon, everyone is grabbing an empty glass and joining the percussion.

Band Members