Material: A former contestant on The Voice, Lisa Ramey shared a set of originals, delving into themes of relationship highs and lows. “You Ain’t My Friend,” a portrait of someone trying to extricate herself from a toxic relationship, resulted in one of her more universal songs: I keep on ridin’ through the fire/ Getting stronger every day /I keep ragin’ like an animal/ But I’m good without you, baby.
The structure of the song, using the title, “You Ain’t My Friend,” serves as the lyrical motif introducing each verse. Some of her other material seemed too lengthy, and could benefit from tightening, making it more memorable and marketable.
Musicianship: Without question, Ramey has a powerful voice that she utilizes to its fullest. With strict distancing guidelines in place, there were no additional humans present during the performance, but the artist’s backing tracks could have left you guessing. Well recorded, they suggested at least a player or two in the room without sounding artificial.
Performance: Performing to a cyberspace audience can be disconcerting, as the usual supports (like a sound person, lighting and the ambience of people in the room) are absent. Ramey treated it like any live show, making intermittent contact with the camera, without overdoing it.
Singing to backing tracks, which leaves no room for error, can be an un-nerving experience, but Ramey mastered that task as well. What could have further enhanced the performance, delivering more of an emotional experience, would have been to touch upon feelings of how the virus has impacted her life, perhaps by connecting song choices to those feelings.
Performing “The Weight,” which is the song that won her a place on The Voice, in addition to being a hit song, would also have referenced her participation in the show. In all fairness, it’s possible that she didn’t have access to the backing track.
Summary: Lisa Ramey has a strong well-honed vocal presence, and she performs with poise and confidence; however, an opportunity was missed to dig deeper into an emotional landscape. Ramey recently performed as part of the Global Citizen & World Health Organization (WHO) “Together at Home” concert series along with Common, Camila Cabello and her The Voice mentor John Legend in raising awareness and funds for COVID-19 relief.
Players: Lisa Ramey, vocals