MP3 Chip Raman - Edge Of A Song
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12 MP3 Songs in this album (51:43) !
Related styles: FOLK: Modern Folk, FOLK: Fingerstyle
The third verse of âEdge Of The Wind,â the compelling and contemplative opening track of Chip Ramanâs debut CD Edge Of A Song, begins: âI wonder about the edge of a song/Where it touches someoneâs heart.â The Philadelphia based folk-pop-rock singer-songwriter has been doing just that, touching thousands of folks with his original compositions since his days in the crazy Eighties as lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist in the popular Philly band Allies.
Local heroes on South Street throughout the decadeâdespite playing mellow rock in a town founded on classic soulâAllies lived up to the motto âtwo of theirs and one of oursâ by mixing covers of Neil Young, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Jackson Browne and Bob Seger with Ramanâs earliest tunes. This was just the beginning of Ramanâs fascinating two- decade journey of soul searching and development as a versatile solo artist with lyrics that speak spiritually and emotionally to these uncertain times.
Intensely personal yet powerfully universal, the 12 tracks of Edge Of A Song mix stories of personal growth, sweetly echoing love songs, incisive social commentary and âThe Post-It Note,â an incredible and hypnotic seven-minute âconversation with Godâ detailing His thoughts on the modern world. Raman wrote this song, which always gets the most powerful response from the audience when he performs live, as he reconciled his feelings about leaving his eight year position as a counselor at a residential treatment facility working with emotionally troubled children.
The overall spiritual vibe of the collection is also reflected in Ramanâs choice as producer to include a small choir of friends on âEdge Of The Wind,â âNature Of Thingsâ and the gratitude filled, country-flavored closer âThank You.â The first time he sang âThank You,â at one of Midnight Campfire events at Texasâ famed Kerrville Folk Festivalâwhere he has been a faithful attendee for 13 yearsâmore than 10 people were singing along by the time he finished the first chorus. By the end, 20 people had created an impromptu choir, an experience that inspired him to create the same vibe on the recording.
His overwhelming experience falling in love years later with his high school sweetheartâwho was in the crowd, showing her support the first time Raman ever sangâinspired the gorgeous âBeautiful.â Until lightning struck, however, he lived another song that can inspire those waiting for the same magicâthe haunting âLonesome Painter.â When he sings of blending the hues, roses and deep blues, Raman isnât only speaking metaphorically; heâs an accomplished painter who engages in both surrealism (as with the powerful swirling waves on the album cover) and grounded portraits of people and concepts like racial harmony. Examples of Ramanâs stunning work can be found both in the CD booklet and at https://www.tradebit.com.
âWhen Iâm struck with a moment of creative inspiration, itâs always interesting to see which direction Iâll go with it,â he says. âDo I pick up my guitar or splash some colors around? If something deep is on my mind, then Iâm going to do the word thing and write a song with meaningful lyrics. When Iâm at a loss for words, Iâll either write an instrumental piece like âSegueâ or start painting. In the CD booklet, thereâs a painting of multiracial hands next to the lyrics of âNature Of Things.â In this case, I created both at the same time in response to the events of 9/11 and the insanity of violence and racism. Thereâs a different fulfillment for me in each mode of expression. Music is more accessible to some people and each time I perform a song it takes on a whole new life. With a painting, itâs all one initial emotional release that stands for all time. Both are really important parts of who I am, which is why they work hand in hand on this project.â
Raman didnât focus on painting until 1996, when he moved back to Philadelphia after eight years in the Berkeley, California area, where he honed his writing and performing chopsâand switched from flat picking to fingerstyle guitarâplaying open mics and taking up an informal residency at a club called Freight and Salvage. For several of these years, he was working on his certification in Expressive Arts Therapy at JFK University; after Raman graduated, he taught music, arts and poetry to gifted children at a Montessori school. As important as his time in Northern California was to his development as a songwriter, it was just a prelude to the energy that gripped his musical soul in 1995 the first time he attended the annual 18 day Kerrville Folk Festivalâwhere, he says, you can be sitting alone on a hilltop and hear songs being carried up on the breeze.
âThis world famous songwritersâ festival is a life-changing place and a rite of initiation for thousands of singers and writers like myself,â says Raman. âPeople play at the campfires from midnight to dawn, singing their hearts out in an amazing communal atmosphere. I lead the album off with âEdge Of The Windâ because itâs one of the few songs I wrote at Kerrville with a guitar I borrowed from a friend. The first and third verses are just about being there and listening to people singing and asking for peace. On Edge Of A Song, I take the essence of what happens around the campfire and apply all of the new digital technology to create a recording Iâm really proud of.â
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