Written by Mike Pittman
ImageI was blown away.  One of my favorite shows on so many levels is Live From Daryl’s House. Remember Daryl Hall from Hall & Oats? All the shows are archived  at www.livefromdarylshouse.com if you’ve never seen it.

 So I was blown away by Johnnyswim (www.johnnyswim.com) when I just happened upon them one evening on LFDH. And I mean totally blown away. Comprised of married couple Abner and Amanda-Sudano Ramirez, the band had already been touring for a long while including stops at SXSW and the New Orleans Jazz Festival.

 It isn’t just the music, as good as it is. It’s also about survival and learning to love and shine in the face of total adversity. These two are clearly in love..it’s as my daughter said “I feel like I’m watching a love story unfold right before my eyes”. 

Diamonds is the first LP project (there have been three previous EPs) and Diamonds is the title cut, encapsulating the message of Johhnnyswim. Diamonds came almost at the end of the 90 minute set with heartfelt ‘Annie’ as the encore. Annie has as finely crafted lyrics as I’ve heard anywhere.. “the carpet still holds/the shape of your feat/from the last time I saw you/when you walked away from me.” 

ImageHouse of Blues wasn’t sold out for this show, but the still substantial crowd was feeling probably about like I was in that they felt like they had tapped into something special. Kinda like a best kept secret maybe, and a breath of fresh air without all the flaunt. 

The enthusiasm spilled both ways across the stage with the crowd singing along with every song. One energy fed the other with the duo even abandoning the microphones for a portion of the show. 

Abner’s voice connects with a smooth resonance while Amanda’s soulful subtlety is just powerful enough to leave you wanting more. Combine the two and the harmonies flow with a nuance and style rarely heard anywhere, anytime or anyplace. 

This show was a rare treat for everyone at HOB that night, and you need to go hear for yourself. If you missed this show, too bad. This time next year I’ll be writing to you from the Pavillion telling you about their sold out 18,000+ show. I was blown away.