David Ramirez’s new album, Fables, is a jewel in the 2015 Americana crown and a must-listen for anyone who has ever waged a personal war with the capital “t” Truth. Problem is, the first two cuts of the album are so good, it’s hard to get past them to explore the other eight.
“Communion” opens the set with an easy sway of a groove — one which belies the potency of the song’s message. Ramirez first details taking communion at a Southern Baptist church before describing what would later come to serve as his chosen worship. “I stood in long lines just to do a few lines and I stumbled down the block as the sun was coming up,” Ramirez sings, offering a glimpse into his own personal darkness. “Well, honey, you asked where I came from. I’ve come from a lot of different places. Oh, but I hope that I’ll end up right next to you.” And that’s all he has to say on the subject. The rest, he leaves up to the guitars to explain.
Then comes “Harder to Lie,” the emotional centerpiece of the record that documents the internal journey Ramirez took over the course of way-too-many miles of driving around the country alone. It picks up the story where “Communion” left off: “When it comes to loving me, you best be ready because this will get heavy when you learn just what I am. I fed you fables and fooled you with words from my tongue trying to make you think I was a better man than I was.” But, now, he’s coming clean… with himself and with his lover. He’s breaking down the walls and laying it all on the line. This is heartfelt and headstrong stuff.
The stunning contemplations and confessionals continue across the remaining tracks, with the thread of reckoning and the passion of Ramirez tying it all together.