By breaking through heartache, David Ramirez has gone on a search for understanding. The Austin resident and frequent traveler to clubs, theaters and listening rooms all over the country, has come to a phase in his creative life where the tears have dried and moving on looks like the best option. That change in perspective hasn’t erased the weary searching that has characterized Ramirez’s sparse Americana songwriting for more than a decade. It just means the questions he’s asking on his new album Apologies have changed. “There’s less to do with heartache and a lot more to do with personal struggles, and hope. I see a lot of hope in these songs,” Ramirez, 29, says. “I’ve been working on these and many other songs for a couple years but I didn’t know what I wanted this album to say until right before going into the studio. Once I finished ‘An Introduction’ I knew this was going to be a very personal album.” That song finds Ramirez standing in a Roman cathedral looking for God – singing atop a simple but driving shuffle – while the sparse acoustic guitar-and-voice number “Goodbye” shows him closing the book (and setting it ablaze) on a relationship that seems to have left him permanently unsettled. Whether solo or with accompaniment, Ramirez and his characters make an impression, which is why Paste magazine called him, “The best damn songwriter you don’t know yet” and folk stars The Civil Wars praised him as “Soulful, stirring, heartbreaking.” With Apologies Ramirez has widened his view but is looking outward as intensely as ever. The answers might elude him – as they do all of us – but the questions he’s asking ring honest and true.
Seryn is a 5 piece band who calls Denton, Texas their home. When listening to the well layered textures of guitars, ukulele, accordion, bass, viola, banjo and various percussion, it’s hard to imagine This Is Where We Are is the band’s debut effort. The band’s strength resides in their vast musical talent and understanding of dynamics. Their beauty is gracefully displayed through chilling harmonies. Each member and their voice carry the same importance. One is not complete without the other. It is in this craft that the young band shines so bright. It has earned them a sound that isn’t easily defined, but still proven triumphant. What may first appear as straight folk songs, later transcend into menacing walls of sound. The term “Folk-Pop” has been thrown around and maybe it loosely fits, but we will leave the definitions up to you.
Sean Bruce is a young independent folk artist from Lafayette, LA. At age 19, Sean Bruce resigned from the School of Music at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette to pursuit songwriting and begin touring. Bruce’s early stab at intricate songwriting has grown him a fan base across the region.
His musical influences include legends such as Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan. He combines these melodic influences with the help of writers like Henry David Thoreau, Mark Twain, and Ralph Emerson and poets such as Walt Whitman and Robert Frost.
Sean Bruce’s personable presence on and off stage creates a genuine relationship with his audience. He take you on a cloud ride with soft and simple songs about nature, love, and travel. Armed with an acoustic guitar and a harmonica, Bruce’s ability to combine story and song has gained him a diverse, loyal fan base.
Sean Bruce released his debut album “Daytime Hopes” in April 2011, and he hopes to put it in the hands of the people who keep the music industry alive, the fans. As an independent artist, Sean is thankful for his freedom and will always continue to write and share his music.
Blue Bear is a 5-piece indie/folk group based in Austin, Texas. Only a year into its existence (and only 6 months as a full band), Blue Bear has already created a buzz in the Austin music scene with their incredible live performances and effortless 4-part harmonies. Blue Bear has already been featured on local radio in Austin and recently participated in The Recording Conservatory of Austin’s 6th Annual “Unsigned Artist Competition,” in which they competed against hundreds of bands from around the country to play a showcase for music industry representatives at Stubb’s BBQ in Austin. Blue Bear took home 1st prize in the showcase which included 100 free hours of studio recording time at John Stinson’s Stinson Studios in Austin. If these early successes are any indication, Blue Bear has a bright future ahead of them.
Drawing upon their biggest influences (bands such as Fleet Foxes, Grizzly Bear, Band of Horses, and The Decemberists), Blue Bear has put together an impressive repertoire of original music, as well as several covers. The band is currently in the process of recording a second EP at The Recording Conservatory of Austin, and was just recently the featured band in The Art Institute of Austin’s “Summer Studio 2012,” a week of creative workshops for high school students looking to expand their knowledge of creative arts.