David Ramirez is always looking to do something different.
After a year of touring with a full band to support his album “Fables,” he decided to do a solo trek.
But what would make it different?
“I got the idea to record each set at each show from what The Grateful Dead used to do,” he says during a recent phone interview. “The band used to let the fans record. On this tour, I’m doing the recording for the fans.”
Ramirez dubbed his trek “Bootleg Tour.” Each show will feature a new set list and be recorded in full.
Those who attend will received a download link to the recording the next day.
Ramirez encourages fans to “swap” audio files with fans from other cities.
“I wanted a way to say ‘thanks’ to the fans,” he says. “Without them, I wouldn’t be able to do this for a living.”
Of course, the set will include songs from his most recent album, Fables,” produced by Noah Gundersen and released by Thirty Tigers.
The life of the traveling songwriter certainly seems romantic. But as Ramirez notched mile No. 260,000 traveled in his 2006 Kia Rio, the novelty began to wear off.
“I’ve learned a lot from being alone and isolated,” says Ramirez, who until recently toured by himself, without a band, manager or anyone else for company. “Yes, it’s romantic in a way. But it has also been kind of rough on my head and my heart. After a while it made it difficult to connect with people on a personal level when I got home. In hindsight, I can see that it’s been kind of detrimental. You know, when you travel around alone for months at a time, the world revolves around you. There’s no one else in the equation. Everything was just about me. It’s a selfish way of living. And I’m ready to move on from that.”
It took him three years to write “Fables,” which marks personal growth as a musician and as a man.
“I hit a dry spell for a couple of years after my last album. It was frustrating. I went into the studio two years ago planning to do a whole record, and it just wasn’t coming together. So I scrapped the whole thing and took some time away from it,” he says. “It felt forced. I don’t want to just put more noise into the world. I want to put something out there that means something to me. And if it doesn’t, then I don’t release it. Therefore, I haven’t had a new record in three years. I know that can be frustrating for people on my business team. But I don’t want to put it out there if I can’t stand behind it.”