Ringing guitars, violin, atmospheric organ and percussive train beats all swirl together, leaving room for Ramey’s voice — an instrument punctuated by the light drawl of her hometown and the quick tremolo of her vibrato — to swoon, swagger and sparkle. It’s a voice she began developing as a child while singing made-up songs into her electric hair curler while her parents fought just outside her bedroom door. Although her childhood lacked peace, it was filled with music, thanks to a charismatic grandfather who sang in an Alabama-based gospel quartet. It was his wish to see Ramey pursue her music and that’s exactly what she did. Before launching her music career, though, Ramey was a deputy district attorney in Alabama with a goal to help women like her own mother who found themselves in abusive situations. There, between daytime hours in the law office and nighttime gigs alongside her Birmingham-based band, Ramey realized that music — her true calling — could help people, too. She began making honest, heartfelt music that spoke openly of her past. A pair of early releases, “Junkyard Angel” and “Blood Crescent Moon,” helped sharpen her songwriting chops and paved the way for her move to Nashville where she found a kindred spirit in producer Mark Petaccia.
Melodic and mighty, “Snake Handler” is a battle cry from a songwriter who is unafraid to dive back into her past — no matter how dark it may be — to find closure. It’s an album about final chapters and new beginnings … about violence, resolution and next steps. It’s India Ramey: unfiltered, unrestrained and wholly engaging.