Jonathan Ramsey combines the playful Irish raconteur with the introspective folk singer, taking on unrequited love, underdogs, shipwrecks, general mayhem, and marital bliss —or lack thereof- alternating irony with sensitivity. Known for his intimate, solo shows and recordings, he at once sings, plays a counter-melody and rhythm on the guitar, while stomping out a tight drum and tambourine beat on his signature birch stomp box.
Jonathan finds inspiration from the likes of his own granddad —Eddie- and his early musical teachers in primary and secondary school, as well as Christy Moore, Joni Mitchell, Mike Waterson, and Billy Bragg. Bill Grady (KMBZ, Kansas City, MO) introduced him at the 2017 Kansas City Irish Festival, “Jonathan is an Irish tenor in the classic sense, but with a unique clarity, similar to John Denver.” Indeed, Jonathan is heavily influenced by Denver’s ability to keep a song interesting with just an easy, clear voice and a lone guitar.
On-stage and on his most recent releases, Jonathan rises from the love/hate relationship with one’s hometown in Ewan MacColl’s “Dirty Old Town” to the hellish consequences of drink in “Nightmare No. 64”, then back to some of his mother's favorite songs, like the story of love lost in “Maid of Cuil Moir”. “I love the straightforward clarity of a story song.”, says Jonathan. Surely, Mike Waterson’s “A Stitch in Time”, the true tale of a woman stuck with an abusive husband who turns him round with the help of a few heavy kitchen implements, is one of these songs.
If you’re ready for some driving songs of love, hate, mayhem, and the occasional murder or shipwreck, you need to check out Jonathan Ramsey.