Well it is time to get back on the acoustic track, and what better way to do it than by posting the ‘latest’ from Ragtime Ralph aka Blind Brand X. If you haven’t already grabbed these previous releases, do it now!
Ragtime Ralph “Lost Blues”
Blind Brand X “Black Dog Blues”
When I say ‘latest’ release, it’s more like a re-release that never happened. These recordings are apparently the Takoma recordings that were originally slated to be release by Fahey’s own label. I don’t know the details of why it didn’t happen but it’s safe to assume that it was related to the troubles the label often experienced due to Fahey’s apparent lack of business savvy. Nonetheless, when you can reference Joe Bussard and John Fahey in your recording ancestry, then you must have been doing something right. It’s a shame these works haven’t seen more exposure. They are phenomenal!
Ralph flies out of the gate on the first tune, “Badlands Blake” like a picker possessed.
His ability to whip out the banjo rolls, smooth and precise, is evidenced throughout the recording. Some excellent use of harmonics is also seen in a couple songs. Particularly on Vince Guaraldi’s “Cast Your Fate to the Wind”. This is just a great interpretation of the song…on slide guitar!
The rest is classic American Primitive guitar in the Takoma tradition, full of ringing strings, delicious dissonance and a healthy dose of the Blues.