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Jonathan Ramsey

Jonathan Ramsey (Ramsey Recordings)

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That St. Patrick's Day stew of Guinness, Jameson and corned beef may still be churning in your gullet, and you might still feel like a leprechaun is chiseling your brain. Enter Jonathan Ramsey to drive out your Dublinless doldrums like so many of St. Pat's snakes. Ramsey, who hails from County Clay, is that guy sitting in the corner of every other Irish pub, providing the soundtrack for tipping back pints and speculating about how much coke Joyce was huffing when he wrote Ulysses. Ramsey was weaned on blues, folk and rock but seems a natural for flying solo with traditional Irish tunes. Songs such as "The Night Pat Murphy Died," "Back Home in Derry" and "Come Out, Ye Black and Tans" were meant to be sung in a pub with nothing but emotion, musicianship and ale for fuel. It hardly matters that Ramsey sounds more like a Barenaked Lady than he does a brokenhearted laddy. The songs are the real pot o' gold, and Ramsey trots out aching ballads and rousing sing-alongs about murder, suicide, drunken husbands, unfaithful wives, getting shit-faced at funerals and those damned English. The beautiful simplicity puts a freeze-frame on a particular place in time while providing a little auditory hair of the dog.

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