There is no possible segue between Titus Andronicus and David Ramirez except to say that they sound absolutely and completely nothing alike. Ramirez's gentle, fingerpicked acoustic folk was impressive, especially considering that he was saddled with one of the worst spaces to play in South by Southwest. Booked in the hotel restaurant of the Hilton, Ramirez was separated from the audience by a near-constant train of waiters who were bringing food out from the kitchen, passing in front of Ramirez and snaking through the audience. For songs that hang on every note from an acoustic guitar and voice, this was not optimal in the slightest.
However, Ramirez was a good sport about it and still played an admirable set. Even though the spaces between notes were filled with the clanking of dishes, his resonant voice, heartbreaking lyrics and deft playing shone through. He has a calming, warm voice that seems effortless; even with the noise, it was clear that he has an immense talent. "Strangetown" and "Shoeboxes" were head and shoulders above the rest of his tunes, imparting a mood to the room despite the noisy atmosphere. Fans of Joe Pug's quietest stuff, Damien Jurado and Damien Rice need to take note of David Ramirez.