Review and photos – Andrea Ramolo at the Railway Club, Vancouver, April 25 2011
– review by Oswaldo Perez Cabrera/photos by Jason Statler
Andrea Ramolo is a Toronto singer/songwriter raised in an Italian family. An indie powerhouse musician, she does all her own bookings and has crossed the country from Newfoundland to Victoria and everywhere in between over the last few years.
She secured her own Canada Council funding for her tour, and drove from east to west again. This time Ramolo also brought along Sean Pinchin on guitar and Josh Turnbull on drums. Generally, she travels with her one-man-band, Jason Skiendziel. The tour kicked out March 30 in Toronto, 26 days later she played an early evening showcase gig at the Railway on Monday April 25. She also brought a new CD in her suitcase, The Shadows and the Cracks.
Her songs are about love and longing, but also about places (Texas, Thunder Bay, Nova Scotia, Toronto) where this artist has gone, and believe me she has been all over the country. The lyrics are well thought-out, like snapshots of life, or short films made into songs.
For an early show, a good-sized audience came out to experience Ramolo’s powerful voice as well as Pinchin’s fleet-fingered playing. The guitarist open most of the shows of the tour with his solo act and a rhythm section.
Ramolo and her band started with “O Brother”, a great country pacifist rocker. The rest of the repertoire was a mix of blues and country. It seems Ramolo is moving into blues-rock territory, and the recruiting of Pinchin for the tour is a proof. Neverhteless, singer/songwriters love ballads and Ramolo is no exception: “Cold in the City” is indeed “a pretty song”, as she described it.
The set and setting was cozy, intimate and warm. If you closed your eyes you could imagine being in a cabin in the woods where a bunch of friends are drinking wine around the fireplace or a bonfire, sharing a laugh with Ramolo’s music playing. Despite being from Toronto the members of the band look more like country hippie guys, and in a way they are – it seems they like living in a van while crossing Canada.