Run to Hide, Lazy Bones, Ageless Pill (called playing), Landmine, Exercise the Spirit

August 2023…It’s hard to admit that Boston’s Ramona 􏰖􏰂􏰩􏰺􏰋􏰁Silver flew under my radar􏰆 for so long, as I’m􏰋􏰫 􏰞quite desperate in my search for artists who consider melody, form, and lyrics in equal and dynamic measures in their songwriting and perform these essential virtues of original song craft. I finally caught up with Ms. Silver at a recent performance at the Menino Arts Center in Hyde Park. Accompanied by multi-instrumentalist, Ruby Bird (Bird Mancini) and percussionist, Betsy Neptune (Opposite People; Lechuga Fresca), the trio explored tunes from her albums Small Circle of Light, Ultrasound, and her most recent collection— Exercise the Spirit.

All in attendance were captivated. I was particularly struck by the consistent quality of her writing. With Exercise the Spirit, Ramona adds to her dependable catalog of heartfelt songs, decorated with poetry, whimsy, intimacy, and wit, and framed around gorgeous melodies, exacting performances, lilting harmonies, and the kind of production that embraces her rich musicality and gives muscle to a range of emotions. She is a songwriter’s songwriter and it would not be a stretch to compare some of her works with the likes of Suzanne Vega, Patty Larkin, and Aimee Mann. 

I’m not surprised that she belongs to the ever-resourceful master hive of artists who populate the Roslindale-Hyde Park- Bostonian boroughs—neighborhoods that cultivate home grown, authentic talent. With Silver (vocals, guitar, keyboard, piano), Jim Haggerty (bass), Free Hallas (guitar), John Sands (drums), along with a pristine and buoyant recording/mix by Dan Hallas, this EP is, hopefully, a prelude to a lot more music to come. [E.M.] 

[Exercise the Spirit included musicians Jamie Edwards (guitar/moog), Kimon Kirk (bass), and Jonathan Ulman (drums).  Mastering by Free Hallas.]

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AUGUST 1, 2018, NEW MUSIC RELEASE -- EXERCISE THE SPIRIT revisits the energy and grit of You & Me & Hell (1995), with new lyric armor. RS continues to tout a love of eclectic chord changes and rhythms, a sweet-tooth for harmonies, and vocals sung full-voice or cautiously up close.  Not just colorful 2-guitar pop/rock, but eclectic, edgy, electric sounds with sincerity.

This brief collection of introspective songs pushes hard against forces many of us need to talk about these days: insecurity, depression, and separation. "Run to Hide" and "Lazy Bones" are direct conversations with the self-saboteur. Landmine is a love song to a dear one battling a dark, impenetrable lowness. "Ageless Pill (Called Playing)" and "Exercise the Spirit" call out the crazy speed of life and the need to lean on more than humanness to be kind to ourselves and one another. "Exercise..." is the last track, believing in the end, the Spirit can transport us, transform us, if given the invitation.


Exercise the Spirit Graphic Design:

Jim Haggerty

RS rainy sky photo: Julia Hoffman

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