Christmas is nine days away. It's a weird thought to have in a 2015 that has positively flown by. Today is actually the nine month anniversary of me taking over as the new Managing Editor of Baeble Music. So I'm guessing I'm not all that new anymore. And in what will likely be my final concert of the year, Nashville soul/folk/blues pop rockers Johnnyswim
pout on a warm and inviting Christmas show to help ring out the year.
We've been fans of the husband (Abner Ramirez) and wife (Amanda Sudano) duo for a long time, including a fantastic session with the band last year. We got to see Johnnyswim twice yesterday to show just how much we've grown to love these guys. We shot a gorgeous Christmas session with the band that we'll be sharing in the days to come, and I had the pleasure of heading out to Bowery Ballroom for one of the band's two sold-out Christmas shows at that fabled Lower East Side venue.
Performing a healthy selection of Christmas songs and their own material, Johnnyswim played to a packed house overflowing with zealous fans. Johnnyswim aren't a household name, but their fans are loyal, and whether it was the Christmas tunes or their own music, it was rare that a song went by without the audience returning the lyrics word for word. And that's a genuine connection. With just one LP of original music (and an LP of Christmas tunes), Johnnyswim have managed to forge a genuine and intense relationship with their fans.
And as performers in their own right, the spouses are a marvel. There were moments where I wished the crowd would be quiet for a little bit so that I could hear Amanda and Abner's voices better. If you've ever heard one of Johnnyswim's records or seen them live, you already know this, but Abner and Amanda can sing. I'm pretty sure every women in attendance that night was swooning for Abner and his richly soulful voice (and dashing good looks).
Even if you're as ambivalent towards Christmas music as I am (working in retail during the holidays will do that to you), you should catch a Johnnyswim Christmas show (and absolutely dig our session when it's released) if you have the chance. They've got soul. They've got titanic voices. They've got a hell of a backing band. And we could all use a little more warmth in our lives.
Check out photos from our session with the band below and get excited for when we can share it with all of you.