Ramin Karimloo performed in Texas for the first time yesterday. He is here with some of his band mates to do a three city mini tour. He opened up last night near Austin, Texas at Eastview High School in Georgetown, Texas. Ramin brought some band members with him and picked up a few here in Texas (Steve Young - acoustic guitar, Sergio Ortega - lead guitar, banjo and mandolin, Chip Bricker - keyboards, Staley Rogers - Bass, Coleman Smith - fiddle, Dennis Harper - drums). It was an evening of music Ramin called, "Broadgrass." The music surely was eclectic. They performed some Broadway greats such as "Music of the Night," and "Bring him Home," And when Ramin brought singer Maddy Jarmon to share center stage with him, they sang a hauntingly beautiful version of "A Little Fall of Rain." Maddy's voice was gorgeous and blended perfectly with Ramin's strong voice. He also surprised us with his version of "Beautiful Morning" from "Oklahoma" as well. It was nothing like you would expect it. It was so much better, more tight, more "Broadgrass." This show was an evening of non-stop entertainment and energy.
Ramin was invited to come to Texas and do these shows by Debby Sutton, Fine Arts Chair and Curtain Call Productions Director at Pleasant Grove High School in Texarkana, Texas. Debby said that she went to a show of Ramin's in Chicago and talked with him after the show about her students at Pleasant Grove High School. Ramin told her, "I'd love to come work with your kids." They only had 6 weeks to plan and pull this off, but they pulled it off with such professionalism and poise. Debby had 16 of her seniors along for the experience of a lifetime acting as "roadies" for Ramin and his band. Debby said, "He is just so great with the kids. It is life changing for these kids. He is a real guy who is approachable and kind. He is so humble."
As Ramin came onto the stage, you could feel his electricity and his passion for the music he performed. Each song was sung with feeling and with emotion and strength that you can't possibly feel when listening to a recording. Every song was strong and impressive. Ramin talked of his influences in music including Johnny Cash, The Avett Brothers and Mumford & Sons and you could hear that influence in his music. Ramin made the music his own. He also sang Cats Stevens and Green Day songs. But, when Ramin sang his original music, he breathed real life into that music. It was him. It was his heart and soul. You could see the pride in his face as the audience applauded for those songs. He had "come home" to Texas and felt very comfortable singing for the Texans and they approved.
There is still a chance to catch Ramin in Texas as he performs on Wednesday, December 12 at Carroll Senior High School, Southlake, Texas (near Dallas) and Debby Sutton's school in Texarkana, Pleasant Grover High School, on December 14. Go to http://www.trahc.org to get your tickets before they are all sold-out.
Photo Credit: Irene Davidson