You Sing, I Write: Band of the Week: The Ramblers

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Band of the Week: The Ramblers

Their music takes the listener on a journey. While some songs have that classic jazz feel with piano accompaniment and soulful harmonies, others embody more of a laid-back country vibe. They refer to their music as American roots, or for a more descriptive explanation, Jim Croce backed with Booker T. & the M.G.'s. An interesting comparison, but after listening to them I think you'll agree.

Having been compared to The Band in many press reviews, Brooklyn-based band The Ramblers are well on their way to making a name for themselves. It can't hurt that they were selected to open for Levon Helm either.

I caught The Ramblers' performance last Thursday at Joe's Pub where they featured songs off their debut release as well as some new numbers. The captivating four-piece wowed all in the venue with their versatility as many around me could be seen dancing in their seats.

First track, "Ride This Storm," a classic and memorable rock 'n' roll song, was just a glimpse into what the rest of the night would bring. Playing just under an hour, vocals alternated well between guitarist Jeremiah Birnbaum and pianist Scott Stein while the band was rounded out by Shawn Setaro on bass and Steve Purcell on drums.

While Birnbaum's guitar interludes captivated concertgoers, Stein's soulful and jazzy vocals gave each track a new, and at times ethereal feel. The way the band segued from heavier rock 'n' roll to soul, country and folk was impressive. One moment the listener felt he was in a small, New Orleans jazz club and the next, Nashville at a dirt-filled honky tonk — no small feat for a band.

Alternating from soulfully emotional "Hard To Love" to country-esque, "Whiskey Blues," The Ramblers had much to offer their audience. Whatever music you favor, The Ramblers are sure to please one of your desires. Watch below as they play "Always Another Way to Be Gone" live at Joe's Pub.

For more on The Ramblers, be sure to visit them on MySpace and stay tuned for my interview from Thursday's show.

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