Seeking the Barber of Seville
Ralph's career began during his high school days in Fort Worth, Texas, absorbing musical influences from the likes of Jim Kweskin, Pete Seeger, The Brothers Four, and Sergio Mendez & Brasil '66, as well as the comedy influences of Stan Freberg and Laurel & Hardy. Ralph was known in the coffeehouses for his impish wit and ease at improvising songs, as well as his guitar, harmonica, and vocal skills. From the start his interest included the stage and screen, and, before he left Texas, he had performed in two productions at the prestigious Casa Mañana Theater in-the-round. While studying at The University of Southern California Cinema Department, Ralph supported himself in a variety of musical venues. After moving to Portland, Oregon in 1981, he was soon playing in many of the small clubs, pubs, and cafés. Ralph's personality and musical talent, and his adeptness at dealing with other musicians and practical matters, brought him offers to produce shows. In 1987, he organized the first acoustic stage at the massive annual Mayor's Ball. In the late '80's and the early '90's Ralph hosted a weekly performer's showcase at Besaws Restaurant and The Melody Ballroom. For 18 months Ralph had his own "Video Hot Sheet" on KMJK FM in Portland. In 1992 Ralph released his first CD project, "It's About Time!". The CD features five of his songs, two covers, and several songs by close friends. With it's impressive array of top-notch musicians, it is an excellent introduction to Ralph's world. In November of 1998 he released his second CD, Seeking The Barber of Seville This album features five songs written by Ralph as well as his own arrangements of two traditional songs and his interpretations of seven covers. For the last ten years Ralph has been studying with acclaimed jazz guitarist, Anson Wright. With the release of Ralph's new (November of 2010) CD, "Tribute," one can now hear the influence of this work. Ralph is joined by Tim Gilson, Carlton Jackson, Anson (on one song), and Chris Kokesh (on one song). On this delicately paced and smooth CD, Ralph has covered songs by NRBQ, Terry Adams, Stephen Bruton, Al Anderson, Sharon Vaughn, and Charles Strouse. There are also four of Ralph's original songs. A gifted songwriter, Ralph is well known for his sensitive voice as well as his guitar and harmonica (echo & chromatic) skills. He thoughtfully renders ballads, love songs, novelty songs, and the intricate moods of such writers as Jesse Winchester, Tom Waits, Jerry Jeff Walker, Willis Alan Ramsey, Joey Spampinato, Terry Adams, and Michael Smith. The blossoming of Ralph's career includes his visibility as an actor. He has appeared in print and broadcast advertising as well as feature and industrial films. When you see Ralph you will enjoy his folksy style, but don't expect to hear only folk music. You will hear many popular styles; including Rag Time, Jazz-Influenced Ballads, a bit of Country, Irish folk, TV and movie themes, and much more.