Ramona Silver

Ramona Silver

BandPopRock

Ramona Silver...one of the more consistently excellent and surprisingly under-appreciated singer-songwriters around town for the past decade. -- Boston Phoenix, 2006

Biography

The last 10 years have seen Ramona Silver release 5 CDs, with songs used in both TV and film (Robert Redford’s “The Horse Whisperer”). Silver has toured nationally, including opening for Matthew Sweet and Sam Phillips, and radio appearances such as on KCRW’s “Morning Becomes Eclectic.” Billboard Press called her “one of the best songwriters in any genre that this town has produced...wit style, substance, smart melodies and muscle.” A winner of Boston’s Grammy Showcase and Boston Music Award’s Outstanding Local Female Vocalist, Ramona recently released Intermission, a wonderful little taste of Silver's talent, filled with unique flourishes of optimism--six new tunes that capture her vibrant energy. Silver recently completed a successful month of Tuesday-night shows at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge, MA, which garnered kudos from the Boston Phoenix and the Boston Globe.

Born the second youngest of eight children, Silver was a member of her family’s singing group at birth. The children sang regularly at church, where she remembers learning a lot of harmony and to sing like you mean it. “We sang a mix of traditional gospel hymns and the beginnings of contemporary Christian music, from ‘How Great Thou Art’ to the soulful songs of Andrae Crouch, and of course we did Hank Williams’ ‘I Saw the Light'—highly emotional music. There was a time when it was all eight of us up there, the girls in matching dresses, the boys in suit coats and ties—two guitars, a piano, and eight voices—and we really blended beautifully. It was all due to the quiet but firm push of my parents, who both have a deep love for the power of song. I definitely draw from those roots in my performances today, and learned early on that it's a privilege to be a singer, a deliverer of stories and sentiment.”

Silver also enjoyed studying piano and writing poetry from an early age, while around her, older siblings filled the air with the sounds of the latest rock records. She learned Adventures of Ivan by Khachaturian on piano, but heard Carole King, Earth Wind and Fire, and everything by the Beatles. In high school her brothers fed her tapes of the Clash and Talking Heads, while she tried her hand at Mozart or Debussy. Silver reflects “One day I heard ‘Message of Love’ by the Pretenders on the radio and went out and bought my first record. Hearing Chrissie Hynde's songs and bravado really made an impression on my own songwriting, just as it did to hear Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville years later. These were women who were individuals, not imitations. It's the character in the song that matters to me. And the fact that a listener might connect with my songs because of sincerity, that's the most I could hope for."

A recent reviewer in Boston’s Noise Magazine said this about Silver and her latest release, "Intermission"...”I could say this EP is the best thing that she’s ever done, but then a year from now, there will come along another Ramona Silver album to challenge that assessment. If you ever get a chance to see her live, by all means do. Her music is as she is, complex, accessible and completely without pretense.”

Lyrics

Home is Where

Written By: Ramona Silver

Wait a minute
let's go back to the beginning
to the place where we were talking 'bout our love
and all the things that you and I are made of
Now we're in it, and I know that you are busy
Does it have to take a message from above
for us to take a walk back where we came from?

What about this house we're building
Wet with sweat and tears
It keeps on hanging over me
Working late at night, no sleeping
Barely stop to breathe
We've got only pennies here, but big dreams

There's a window
and your kids are climbing through it
and you gotta help them do it
best you can
It's done with all the wisdom that we can muster
There's their future
coming fast inside their faces
Growing tall and going places like new men
Remember when this all began?

What about this earth we're leaving
Sooner every year
It's turning right in front of me
Remember how you loved the scenery
from a Vermont chair
We've got only minutes here
tender years, remember dear
I'm counting every scene

Home, home is where the heart is
And oh, they never should be parted
Come home

Tricky World

Written By: Ramona Silver

It's a tricky world you live in
It's your God-given right to give in and go on and grow
I can tell that you're hard of hearing
all the things that your heart's been feeling so long
Don't it show

Tell me in the winter
will we be alright
When snow falls down and covers up
our only light to drive at night?

There are mountains worth the climbing
Then there's times you best see lying down on the ground
So the road may be long and nameless
Sew a seam of a thousand faces and sounds all around

I tell you in the winter we will be alright
as snow falls down and covers us
We'll slow the drive
and greet the night
as stars go hide
and everything turns to white

Hand me over the wheel
It will be alright
Climb in back and steal dreams of sweet daylight
Hand me over the wheel
It will be alright
Climb in back and steal
dreams so sweet

If I Sing

Written By: Ramona Silver

If I Sing will you come out
come out from your hiding place
and show your face
and everything you are?
Will you stand and deliver
everything you're given by grace
and not erase your bright and shiny star?

I know it's cold, you feel alone
but love is all around you
Don't give up now
time will show how
the sun is gonna shine through you

There's a face in the mirror
coming ever clearer
Do you see it, too?
It's staring right at you
And each step that you take
well it could be a mistake but
time will surely show
no matter how it breaks
or what you blow
Inaction is a waste

I know it's cold, you feel alone
But love is all around you
Don't give up now
time will show how
the sun is gonna shine through you

O my heavens, I'm in luck
cause you haven't given me up
for all I've done
Now's the time to step on up
cause I could stay stuck under this
rock or greet the sun

I know it's cold, you feel alone
but love is all around you
Don't give up now
time will show how
the sun is gonna shine through you

If I sing will you come out
come out from your hiding place
and show your face
and everything you are?

Discography

Ramona Silver has released the following 5 CDs, all of which can be heard at www.ramonasilver.com:

Intermission (2005) -- No one on this earth puts four minutes of genius into a pop song the way Ramona Silver does: the lyrical complexity of Elvis Costello, the angular pop of XTC, the innocent sophistication of Harry Nilsson, and the maturity of Aimee Mann, while at the same time making it sound as fresh as when the day was new. -- Noise Magazine

Death by Candy (2001) -- Full of witty, insightful slices of pop, all sung with soul and openhearted grace..."The Saint at 99" features Silver's luscious vocals, or the rocker "Motherbee," on which she projects "I'm on my way, and I won't be swayed," with a vocal strength to match. -- Skope.com

Ultrasound (1998) -- When the status-quo is getting you down, listen to this. Imagination is rampant on this CD, and while the songs come off as fairly light-hearted, there is nothing light about her songwriting abilities. -- CD Baby Magazine

Trailers (1996) -- Silver exudes a pixie-like energy on this jittery, pop-sweetened confection. Perfect for folks who have grown weary of the much copied "angry young woman" sound. -- Billboard Magazine

You & Me & Hell (1995) -- Tough, penetrating rock & roll that resonates against the sternum, the cranium, and finally, the heart. -- Prism Magazine

Set List

A Ramona Silver performance is crafted to fit the event/audience at hand. Typical set is 45-60 minutes, but also can play 2 sets. Songs are mostly originals, with the occasional Ramona Silver version of a classic songwriter's gem. A current song list and CD titles are shown below:

Ramona Silver songs:
Home is Where (Intermission)
If I Sing (Intermission)
Haunted (Intermission)
Daisy (Intermission)
Tricky World (Intermission)
Intermission (Intermission)
Motherbee (Death by Candy)
The Saint at 99 (Death by Candy)
Woman (Ultrasound)
Honeydew (Ultrasound)
In Your Soul (Ultrasound)
Pickin Up (Trailers)
Wonder Woman (Trailers)
Tour Trauma (You & Me & Hell)
Loner (You & Me & Hell)
2x4 (You & Me & Hell)
Idiot's Delight (unreleased)
Restore (unreleased)
Yvonne (unreleased)
Loaded (unreleased)
Dropped E (unreleased)

Possible covers:
Willie Nelson -- Who'll Buy My Memories
Irma Thomas -- Anyone Who Knows What Love Is
Johnny Cash -- Country Boy
Elvis Presley -- M