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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

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!

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