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MP3 Tony Ramey - Places

From adult contemporary to straight ahead country and everything else in between, all on one album--edgy grassroots, "airy atmospheric", and soulful vocal stylings reminiscent of early Glen Campbell, Al Green and Randy Owen . . .

16 MP3 Songs
COUNTRY: Country Rock, COUNTRY: Modern Country

A Biography-or, rather, an Autobiography:

Most artists tell their story to a publicist and have them flower it up a bit, stretch a few facts and hype the language to impress the hard-to-impress. I''m taking a rather unconventional approach, however, for better or for worse. So bear with me . . .

I grew up in a blue collar, working class family home in Kenova, West Virginia. My dad was born and raised among the clear creeks, the cool misty hollows, and some of the deepest coal mines in Logan, West Virginia--the same ones that swallowed so many of our kinfolk. He struck out from Logan when he was just a teenager and eventually landed his last job at a glass factory in Huntington, West Virginia, where he would be a welder and a journeyman for almost thirty years. Dad earned his "tenure" and my respect supporting his family, along with my mother''s help, on Owens Illinois'' "hot end" where the ovens churned the molten glass and roared at temperatures beyond human endurance. This, along with many other reasons, is why he and my mother (who''s still working steady after more than 30 years) seem superhuman to me now. They taught me to work hard at whatever I do; thus is the reason I consider writing songs and performing blue collar jobs. I approach them with the same discipline, fervor and nitty-gritty attitude. The only difference between my job and most others'' jobs is that I happen to love the work I do. Unfortunately, that doesn''t make it any less difficult.

At any rate, my folks somehow managed to teach me something, despite my shortcomings--playing music and writing songs instead of studying. Nevertheless, they got me through graduate school at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia with a degree in Literature--a seemingly impractical curriculum for the "real world", but one that has prepared me for so many of life''s challenges, and that has supported me throughout the lean years.

As for my early youth, I spent it almost entirely in introspection. Most days I played alone, read, drew pictures, dreamed of other worlds and made up stories about them. My original aspiration was to write novels, poems, short stories or whatever literary form the Muses dictated. My influences include Edgar Poe, Will Shakespeare, e. e. cummings, Dylan Thomas, Jim Croce, Jimmy Webb, Dan Fogelberg, Don Henley, Mac Davis, and a host of other poets, novelists, essayists and singer/songwriters. But there were other influences long before the above-mentioned who inspired me to write--the musical kinfolk at my family reunions.

As far back as I can remember, our reunions have been, and still are, informal bluegrass/country concerts. Practically every one in my immediate and extended family plays an instrument, and so they strike up a band at every family reunion. No matter how much a pompous and fool-hearty youth tries to shake off his roots, he inevitably realizes they provide him with the sustenance he needs to grow and to thrive in the world. As it happened, I picked up a guitar when I was about fifteen and began to put all my poems and stories to music.

What a strange bedfellow this vocation has become. Some of my friends say I retreat a bit too often into my little dark office to record and write. Some even believe I''m losing touch with reality (My wife says I could''ve landed a job at Disney Land). Indeed, music has become a dangerous and delicate balance that keeps me always on the brink of something--my wife says madness, I say happiness. She might be right, as she often is. At any rate, it is she who keeps me grounded while I continue to dream and play make believe with my two beautiful children, Savannah and Logan. And when I do come out to play, both of them love having a kid for a daddy (and Savannah''s already writing her own songs at the proper age of five). Indeed, writing songs is one of those child-like things--one of those magnificently child-like things--that I''ll never be able to put away, no matter how hard I might try, or how old I get.

Having said that, I consider myself extremely blessed beyond my early imagination to be still writing songs and performing them professionally. I''ve been with Muy Bueno Music (a George Strait and Erv Woolsey Company) in Nashville for the past seven years. And I hit the highway as often as I need to for whomever will have me show up and sing.

So there it is. I tried not to wax philosophical in spite of myself. And if you regret reading it, perhaps you''ll at least enjoy the music . .


Tony Ramey


Credits: Artists and Songs recorded

Mark Tribble (1991): "That Old Guitar"
"Home that I Call Home"

John M. Montgomery (1998):
"I Don''t Want This Song to End"***

Doug Stone (1999): "Make Up in Love"†**

Stevens Sisters (2000): "Lonesome Wind"

Craig Morgan (2001): "Something to Write Home About"†

Trisha Yearwood (2002): "Second Chance"***

Johnny Bush (2003) "Her Memory''s Raisin'' Hell"

Kevin Denny (2003) "That''s How I was Raised"

Kelly Kenning (2004) "The Ride of My Life"‡
"Daylight Wasting Time"‡
"Weekend in Juarez" ‡

Jimmy Fortune (2004)
"Country Sunday"

Mark Elliott (2004)
"Old Dogs"

Jake Matthews (2004)
"Kings for a Day"

† Top forty hit
** BMI award-winning song in 2000
*** RIAA Certified Gold
‡ Co-Written and Co-produced
Top 15 Texas Music Chart/Top 10 Texas Regional Chart

Television Credits
"Second Chance" - As the World Turns (2001)

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