By JESSE BERTEL
Across the Street
Eric Ramsey is the winner of the 2022 International Blues Challenge, a three-time champion of the Phoenix Blues Society’s Blues Showdown and a finalist at the Telluride Blues Challenge. Ramsey is a winner of the Stefan George Memorial Songwriting Contest sponsored by the Tucson Folk Festival and has been tapped for the prestigious Songwriter’s Showcase produced by Tempe Center for the Arts, filmed for PBS distribution.
RamseyRoberson (Eric Ramsey and Robby Roberson) are performing among other artists at the Angels Band Festival from 1 to 4 pm Saturday, Oct. 1, in the Highlands Center Amphitheater, 1375 S Walker Rd, Prescott. Ramsey spoke with Across the Street staff ahead of the performance. The following interview was edited for length and clarity.
How did you and Robby Roberson start playing together?
We both have solo performing careers and I think maybe five or six years ago, I don’t know if we ended up hanging out at the same festival or something and, well, I can’t remember exactly, but we got to talking and thought, “let’s get together sometime and just and see what happens.”
We got together for a little rehearsal and it was kind of one of those magical things, you know, when you meet someone or you have so much in common with someone that things just sort of flow without even really much effort. It was just one of those things.
What do you like most about playing with Robbie?
I like the diversity that he brings. His songwriting style is different than mine, so when we play our originals we each bring our own stylistic ideas to the other’s original song. It makes the songs bigger than they would be on their own, if that makes sense. Plus, he’s just a super nice guy. He’s a nice guy to hang out with, so that makes it easy.
How do you decide what material you’re going to perform?
We do a lot of original stuff when we play together. Obviously, we won’t be doing that this weekend for the Angels Band thing. We’re roughly the same age, so we have a lot of the same musical influences and sometimes when we have rehearsals, we’ll have an idea of some new songs that we want to work on and we’ll sort of just start playing them and we see what instruments work best for where the song is trying to go.
We sort of start with a blank slate, really. Then, one of us will start playing a song that we want to learn and the other one will grab an instrument that seems fitting and see if that works. If that doesn’t work, then we’ll switch instruments and see if we can find a better kind of groove with different instruments and it’s sort of an evolution that way, I guess.
For more information about RamseyRoberson, visit ramrob1.wixsite.com/ramseyroberson.
Jesse Bertel is a reporter/videographer for the Prescott News Network. Follow him on Twitter @ JesseBertel, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2043.