Ramble Horse
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Ramble Horse

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"Open With Ramble Horse"

Open Up with Ramble Horse
Written by Tara Morris-Viland
July 29, 2010 – 11:15 am

This Friday night, the Nightfall Concert Series continues at Miller Plaza. We speak a lot of this event and rightfully so, since many times the bands brought on stage are more than worthy of mention. For those not familiar or have been living in a cave, Nightfall is held at the corner of Market Street and Martin Luther King Blvd. This event touches a multitude of people in Chattanooga and beyond, from families, dog owners, motorcyclists, beer drinkers, music lovers and social butterflies. If only I had a dog and motorcycle…
With the amazing talent hitting the stage. I wanted to take a break and share a reason to get to the plaza a bit early—the opening local bands. Carla Pritchard of River City Company (RCC), the presenters of Nightfall, gave me a quick rundown of how each opening band is chosen. It is a team effort and each act is booked with sound and connectivity in mind. (Kind of shoots down my image of a “Wizard of Oz”-like character in an office spinning the Wheel of Local Bands, but hey, we can always dream.)
There is actually a group of real people to thank for these magical Friday nights. This committee not only has a file drawer full of submissions, but each member is very in tune with the ever-growing music scene. RCC believes having a local opener is important to the grassroots feel of Nightfall and keeps the indigenous vibe that many of us hold dear to our Chattaboogie hearts. Carla says that except for The Bohannons, each band opening this season is playing Nightfall for the first time. What a great way for these bands to get out of the bars and into a different audience. It was not planned this way, but it definitely proves how much our musical community is expanding.
Our opening band for this week is Ramble Horse. These around-town dudes have been playing for a little over a year and seem to be making all the right moves. I sat down with two of the four members, Bijan Dhanani and Kip Smith, the founders and long-time friends. The other two members of Ramble Horse are Wilch Oehmig and Jimbo Schwartz.
First thing I noticed when checking these guys out is that they each have really unique names. Which is always a good sign. The group came together in spring of ’09, a few changes occurred, and this lineup began the following fall. When attempting to identify a genre for their musical style, we couldn’t help but agree that the word “genre” is becoming somewhat obsolete. With decades of influences, most experimental music can be hard to pin down to one word, and in the case of these Baylor Boys it shouldn’t be. But for now we will go with psychedelic-surf-folk-rockspealadocious.
The eclectic styles of music represented by each member seem to have a cymatic design (YouTube it) and the band has naturally evolved with lyrical stories of ocean dreams, growing up, and girls. Of course, with “girls”, where would inspiration derive from if it weren’t for a few broken hearts and hard-learned lessons? As Kip states, “Music is forever and girls—well, not always.” Their music speaks of attempting to understand or explain something that is unexplainable. “We are doing something that feels right and we feel like we are saying something that has been said before, but in a fresh and fun way,” Kip says.
It is always a beautiful thing to sit with men and let them talk about themselves, but I was very impressed with the passion and honesty in their story and even broke out into quite a few laughs. Stories of first-show disasters and achieving a spot in SXSW echoed down Tremont Street. Ramble Horse has all the elements, an original lyricist, trusted critic, careful musician, and master gardener. Everything you need to create a growing garden of good music and strength that can only be Ramble Horse.
The headliner this week is Plants & Animals. This grooving three-piece band out of Montreal is going to whisk you away to the Canadian winters, stretching along to the California coast with a sound that seems to be reincarnated from the early 1970s. These two bands couldn’t have been paired easier—and have more in common then they may know. I do hope they get to meet and share.
They’ll also be sharing their wonderment with you on another Friday summer night down at Miller Plaza.
Ramble Horse
(opening for Plants & Animals)
7 p.m.
Nightfall, Miller Plaza, 850 Market St.
www.nightfallchattanooga.com - The Pulse


Ramble Horse self titled EP was released in August of 2009. Ramble Horse has airplay in Oxford, MS and Chattanooga, TN.



Ramble Horse rooted its origins after Kip Bradley Smith burned the bridge to his last girlfriend and was kicked out of his house in Oxford, Mississippi for drunken antics. He took shelter in the country in an old hunting cabin that sunk into the earth. In the immense silence and solitude he began recording the first songs that cast the first light onto Ramble Horse.

“What I write about stems from the waves and the ocean, girls that don’t last, feeling out of control, heart ache, the sun and the moon, skirts, the country, Indians, real stuff,” says Kip.

“Kip’s approach to music is rather unorthodox…and that’s to be respected,” says synth player Wilch Oehmig.

In makeshift home studios, Kip produced the six song self titled EP that was released in the summer of ’09. Old friends and musicians gravitated towards the EP to form a tightly driven four piece: Bijan Dhanani- Guitar, Wilch Oehmig- Keys, and Jimbo Shwartz- Drums.

“The fun comes from how well the songs are written,” says drummer Jimbo Shwartz.

The live show is drenched with passion. The soul of the music makes your hair’s stick up and every note is excitedly driven. The hooks are catchy, like honey to the ear, with a sparking creative flare. The songs drive to the edge of soul and peak over. Ramble Horse is a band playing fresh indie rock that will make anyone dance and cry.