A few years ago, Paste magazine called Austin’s David Ramirez “the best damn songwriter you don’t know yet,” and they were certainly right, in one respect. Over the course of a handful of albums and EPs, Ramirez has established himself as a premier talent. His style of folk has been praised by critics and (perhaps more importantly) fellow musicians, with Grammy winners the Civil Wars labeling him as “soulful, stirring, heartbreaking.”
Those qualities are due in part to the kind of itinerant life Ramirez leads. He grew up in Houston before his passion for songwriting took him to Nashville and then Birmingham, Alabama. Even though he makes his home in Austin these days, Ramirez tours incessantly. Last year he notched 175 live dates, performing in clubs, bars, coffee shops, and on college campuses around the country. All the miles have taken a toll; his past work has been marked by a sobering sadness. He wears his heart on his sleeve when it comes to his personal relationships, which often can fall apart due to his constant travel.
Yet his new EP is decidedly more upbeat. The Rooster was written quickly after last year’s full-length Apologies, and it details Ramirez’s new-found love. He remains brutally honest: on EP highlight “The Bad Days,” Ramirez lets it be known that there are “gonna be days when you hate me.” It’s that kind of honesty–coupled with a stunning voice and melodic brilliance–that’s putting the name David Ramirez on a lot of tongues these days.
The folksinger will be celebrating the release of The Rooster with a sold-out show tonight at the Cactus Cafe.