Review by Laura Burrus / Austin Music Box
On his 2017 album, We’re Not Going Anywhere, David Ramirez’s life-worn voice takes the listener on a journey, just shy of 40 minutes, through the pains of fading relationships, questions of politics and fears of the unknown. Pour yourself a whiskey, keep a tissue nearby and have your boots ready for a waltz with your lover. This album is a little less folk, than his previous work, and a lot more rock and synth. Fans of The National will recognize similarities to thought provoking lyrics and low voice melodies on tracks that permeate the entire album.
The National’s 2004 Cherry Tree EP song, “About Today,” would make a perfect addition to this album, especially for those heart wrenching moments anguishing over losing someone you love. The theme of distance is woven into several of Ramirez’ tracks, a window into his experience with a long distance relationship, perhaps. Whether you’ve experienced a long distance relationship or just grown a part from someone you share a home with, we’ve all made or minimized excuses trying to avoid the inevitable reality, which make Ramirez’s songs so relatable to the listener.
“People call who they want to talk to. Silence paints a thousand words. Your picture only paints a few. I’m tired of knocking at your door. You would call if you wanted to.”
“Twins” is an eerily beautiful tribute to 9/11- one of America’s saddest tragedies. It calls to question what it means to be American and takes a step away from what listeners might expect from Ramirez’s earlier albums.
His deep Johnny Cash vocals come out strong in the piano-backed title track, “I’m Not Going Anywhere.” It’s his voice that’s not going anywhere on this one. It’s here to stay. It’s a beautiful anthem that wraps up the album, giving the listener the power to interpret whether it’s security from a loved one or a stance against a current political issue; maybe it’s both. “You’re going to hear my voice loud and clear. I’m gonna have all my words in your ear. And when you can’t see my face. Or feel my warm embrace. Well, then find you the nearest radio, then Momma, you’ll know, that I’m not going anywhere.”
Whether you’re a new David Ramirez fan or an avid follower, we guarantee that this album will be one you’ll be playing for years to come.
About the album cover from David Ramirez:
Peggy Harder (86) and Lynda Sawyer (60) are Mother and Daughter. Both have battled breast cancer and both have survived. Each of these women represent an earnest approach to living joyfully and refuse to be defined or brought down by sickness or death. Being on set for this shoot was such a privilege. The two of them were acting like a couple of wild teenagers and perfectly embodied the meaning of my album’s title: Death, take our bodies but our presence will remain. Cheers to Lynda and Peggy, and cheers to you, Listener. We’re Not Going Anywhere.
Listen to and purchase “We’re Not Going Anywhere” @ davidramirezmusic.com