A bit quite from a playing point of view at the moment. Work is busy as usual. However I am writing a lot more about the history of music of the working classes in the Swan River Colony in 1829. Very little is documented on the music of these people even though they made yp the majority of the first pioneers. Interesting to look at the most popular songs of the early 19 th century, songs such as the Wild Rover, Spencer the Rover and the Barley mow. Imagining the worksers sat in their grog tents singing away when music was a community thing. Fascinating and it is great to re visit my folkie roots again. More soon.
Ghost Dancer. Spirit Warrior
Ghost Dancer. Spirit Warrior
Finally managing to get my videos on the site. This song is from my latest album This Pilgrims Progress. It tells the story of Aboriginal freedom fighter Jandamarra who was active in the Kimberly at the turn of the last century. The settlers thought he was possessed with spiritual powers
Taking music to the street at Victoria park.
Fiddlesticks promo 3 j ralph
The .K.I.S.S. Principle.
Born To Busk Final
My Friend Trevor Smith is a published Playwright and Poet.In 2015 he gave me a poem that he had written in 2012 and said'Why don't you make a song out of it?'.I added music a third verse and an exten...
This Pilgrims Progress.
Now on SPOTIFY.
To read the stories behind the songs. See the dedicated page on this site.
Well somehow I have just managed to wipe out the last 2 entries!
Latest news is that I have two of my songs in the final 30 of the Australian Songwriting association competition,
This will the second year that this has happened. My Diet Song is in the Comedy Category and my Bat in the Bedroom is in the instrumental Category. They can both be heard on my latest album. This Pilgrims Progress on Spotify or Bandcamp.
I have stepped down from my Chairmanship of the WA Folk Federation after 6 years. I juts do not have the time to commit to taking it forward .I am staying on at the Wanneroo Folk Club for a while but will eventually step back from that also.
I plan to spend more time on writing music and also completing my research on the Music of the Swan River colony (1829).
My section on the music of the working classes is almost complete. Although there are not many written records of the music they would have played I have looked back on Folk music from England at the time and it is highly likely that they would have carried on singing songs such as the Lincolnshire poacher in the many grog tents in the towns, Fascinating stuff.
That is about all for now. Looking at completing my covid abandoned tour of The UK in 2023 so beginning to get the wheels rolling on that.
Joe and Myself at Araluen
As usual a delay in posting. I have lots of project on the go at the moment and am finding that I have little time to promote my own musical journey. Awareness has been reached and changes will be made. So what Have I been up to in the last few months?
I am playing more and more gigs with my son Joe in our Duo Duality (see facebook). We have great fun playing in pubs. Just old acoustic standards but Joe is getting into Show of Hands so we will be playing a few of Steve Knightly s songs.
I have done some some session work playing Mandolin and Mandola on Jamie McKinnons new album "The Wild Geese". It was great to play alongside Scottish Fiddler Fiona Davidson and Piper Ali McKerron. I was the only sassenach!!!
We have a launch at the Irish club here in Subiaco in April..
My new album This Pilgrims Progress is now on bandcamp. Please go and have a listen.
I will be promoting it at Fairbridge festival in April. Really chuffed to be playing three sets there over the weekend. It will be even more special as it was cancelled last year due to covid.
Two of my songs are through to the final 30 of the Australian Songwriters association competition. I am waiting to hear if they have progressed.
On the classical front I played a solo set of 3 of my classical pieces at the Concert for the Perth Guitar Orchestra. This year is their 6Oth anniversary. They will be playing a pieces composed by me called a walk on the Bibblemun. Which was runner up in their competition for composers last year.
On top of this as Chairman of the West Australian Folk Federation I am organising a mini Folk Festival for Sat 27th Feb as well as facilitating workshops. Also my teaching is flat out again this year..
So that is the reason why It has been difficult to write. I am doing loads of stuff just not telling anyone. When i made my 3rd album Originals with influences most of the songs were about the frantic pace of life. Again I plan to slow down . Maybe in June!!!
Oh so sorry that I have not posted on this site for a while. Have been busier than a one legged riverdancer. So here in Perth we have been very lucky with the lack of covid infections. This has resulted in life being almost Normal. I have been playing lots of gigs with my son Joe in our duo Duality. We play covrs of our favorite songs and the pubs seem to love it!! It is also great playing music with him.
I have just contributed to the CD Wild Geese. Made by Jamie McKinnon it features Scottish folk songs.The other musicians are Fiona Davidson on Fiddle and Ali Mckerron on pipes. I am the only sassenach and contribute Mandolin and Mandola as well as vocals. We will making a video to advertise the music More details soon.We will be having an album launch at Wanneroo Folk club on Sept 11.
I will be playing 2 solo gigs this month. See my events page for details. Looking forward to start highlighting my recent release "This Pilgrims Progress". That's all for now folks will (as usual)try to keep this up to date. Stay safe.
13th June. Well did my first live stream last week on Perth Musicians in Lockdown site. An interesting experience playing to a computer!! but good fun. Played songs from my new album which can also bee downloaded from Bandcamp..
Tonight I will be laying a live stream again in Duality the covers duo I have with Joe and then tomorrow Sunday we have our first pub gig post lockdown. A Sunday afternoon acoustic session at the Cork and Bottle pub in Bassendean. Take care out there.
20 May. So lucky to be living in Western Australia one of the most isolated Cities in the world. We have not been hit as hard as many by the virus. We are starting to get moving again and I am really pleased to be playing In Joondalup Library on Monday 25th from 12.30 til 2 pm as part of the Arts in Focus initiative by Joondalup City Council. It will be great to get playing again'
Also will be playing a live stream as part of the Perth Gigging musicians initiative on 7th June at 7 pm (Perth Time) Motre details soon,
1st May Hal en Tow. Great to see the Perth Morris dancing at dawn to welcome in the season.
I am overcoming my aversion to the computer to try and update this website more regularly.
I Have put details of my new album on the music page along with another album I made a few years ago. I think there are some cracking songs on both. My latest is This Pilgrims Progress with songs on my thoughts whilst travelling through Canada as well as diets Morris dancing and a few tunes Even some Morris Standards on my Banjo. Hopefully i will play some gigs when all of this has passed..
I also put a video of an instrumental piece that I wrote on my facebook page and received over a thousand views and some very lovely comments. Very encouraging.
Well didn't see this coming!! I was all ready to play Fairbridge Festival here in WA. I made new Cd 'This Pilgrims Progress' Managed to get one gig in before the covid hit. Never mind it will wait.
Luckliy I have managed to carry on teaching on line and I am so grateful for that.
Stay Safe Everyone
Well things are still keeping busy. I am just about to finish my latest Recording This Pilgrims Progress. Due out in a couple of weeks. All self penned songs an tunes inspired by Travels in Canada. and the USA,Morris Dancing, Contra Dancing, Dieting and Local Aboriginal Freedom Fighters. Also playing Mandolin on a couple of Tracks.
Playing and Busking more with my son Joe in Duality having a fun time playing Classic acoustic Folkie ,Country. rocky songs.
Also have managed to find a wonderful Fiddle player Elise Rosenberg who has stepped in to the Emerald Trio for our two gigs on St Patricks Day.
I will be playing at Fairbridge Festival this year !!! Two solo gigs and also giving a presentation on The Music of the Swan River Pioneers.
I am honoured to have been asked by local Scottish Folk singer Jamie McKinnon to take part in a recording project of songs along with brilliant Scottish fiddler Fiona Davidson and Award winning piper Ali MacKerron. I am even more humbled by the fact I am the only sassenach on the team!!!
Doing the Busking Thing
Am looking forward to playing with the Perth Classical Guitar Orchestra in our 60th Anniversary year. Am just finalising an Orchestra piece which I hope they will play
Have got loads of gigs coming up which I have put on my events page.
Will be coming back to Blighty in July and am playing a few gigs that are just being Finalised.
For more up to date info see my Facebook page . John Ralph. Musican/Teacher.
Happy New year to all
Again I endeavour to keep this more up to date. I seem to spend more time on the computer than on playing.So I have been very reluctant. By the time I have finished with organising work planning lessons and as Chairman of the WA Folk Federation I don,t seem to get around to this.
This is what has been happening over the last few months.
Have been playing lots of gigs with Joe. It was getting so busy we have decided to make it a bit more formal. We have called our Duo Duality and have a facebook page. Check it out for an update regarding where we are playing next.
We have two gigs on St Patricks Day but need a fiddler as my Daughter who was going to play now cannot. The search is on!!!!!
On the solo side I have a few gigs lined up In March I will be playing at a benefit concert for Bush Fire relief and a solo gig at Tree House Concerts. In April I will be playing at Fairbridge Festival.the biggest Festival here in WA.
All this will match up with my 4th CD release which I am just putting the finishing touches to now
Have also been asked to contribute my Guitar Mandolin and Banjo skills to a recording of Scottish Traditional songs I am honoured to be playing alongside Fiona Davidson one of the best Scottish Fiddle players here in WA and Ali Mckerron Champion piper. I am the only Sassenach !!!
From the Classical guitar front. A new season starts this week, I have almost finished my composition Bat in the Bedroom. This is a mandolin tune on my CD but I am writing an arrangement for the Guitar Orchestra. Should be fun!!!
Till next time
Sept . Well so much for keeping this website up to date. Teaching is keeping me busy and sometimes I do not even want to see another computer!!!.However here is a review of the last few months.
On Sunday 15th September will be taking part in a dramatisation of the Story of Breaker Morant and Daisy Bates. Written by Colin Smiley it tells the story of these two Australian icons in Drama and Song . Should be fantastic!!!! See the events page for more upcoming gigs.
Have been having fun busking My son Joe joined me for a few songs.
Busking Araluen Tulip Festival
I have been in the studio and started my 4th Album. It is a total miscellany. With songs about the Environment Contra Dancing, Morris dancing Tea rooms and one about Jandamarra which has received very positive reviews. Looking forward to making videos later this year.Also a couple of Instrumental tracks featuring guitar in DADGAD Tuning and Mandolin.Am going tom take a bit more time with this one as I have loads of ideas.
High School Musical
May 2009. Finally
High School Musical
We were on stage behind the Screen
High School Musical
My home for the shows. Cosy!!!
have time to update this site. Have had a busy few months. Teaching guitar in schools is keeping me very busy. I have just finished a run of playing the guitar in a school production of High School Musical.Seven shows over 5 days. Playing Electric and Steel and Nylon string acoustics, definitely a varied soundtrack. Had to wear earplugs as the trumpet player was sat right behind me!!!
Finshed 2 shows on Saturday then went busking in the Hills on Sunday morning(The Hills were alive) and then played at Jackadder Folk Club in the afternoon With Jamie McKinnon as part of JamJar. Great to play the old songs again such as the Mingulay boat song and Windmills by Alan Bell as well as newer songs by Karine Polwart and Steve Knightly.
Am playing my original songs at the Gaslight Club in Fremantle on Thursday
Can now concentrate on getting my new album together. I have 15 songs and tunes that I will aim to record in June /July. Will keep you posted.
Yaay January 2019 already. Am looking forward to the recording of myself and Jamie's house concert last June. Jamie organises the Wanneroo Folk Club with me. Traditionally every year we play a few of our favorite songs as a duo(Jamie is a great performer in his own right)A chap called AL Ribeau said it would be a good idea to do a house concert and record it. It was duly arranged and a great night was had by all. The recording is a raw reproduction of that night. I must admit something about me always like live concerts So the CD hopefully should be out in March Watch this space!
Also playing a few outdoor gigs in the next couple of months. See events page or facebook for more details.
October is upon us(yes I know I missed September) So playing a few gigs (see fiddlestix vid at top of page) Also really into the busking!
Am well into my Masters in Musicology at UWA researching the music of the first Swan River Pioneers. (Fascinating stuff)Will be presenting my findings at the Musicological Society of Australia conference in Dec. Also will be presenting at the Folk in the Forest festival in Novemeber as well as playing a bit.
Written loads of songs so just contemplating whether to produce another CD. Hm decisions.
August is upon us. I am back from a brilliant mini tour of the UK straight in to work.Caught up with many old friends and made many new ones.Played an listened to some great music. I have a variety of gigs coming up.
Mundaring Folk Club, Playing in The Perth Guitar Orchestra and Busking.
Details on my events page.
The Old Bookshop Downham Market Sellout concert Brilliant Night
Folk in a Field Festival Norfolk.Really well organised festival and some great Musicians
Winchester Folk Club. Quirky little pub basement club Really good. Even had some Aussies in the Audience.
The Narrow Boat Sessions.Recording on a barge in North Wales. See facebook, The Narrow boat Sessions.
Looking forward to my world tour of UK !
UK Gigs 2018
July 4 Winchester Folk Club
July 5 The Tump Folk Club, Coventry.
July 8 The Folk in a Field Festival. Kings Lynn.
July 8. Radio West Norfolk.
July 11 The Narrowboat Sessions(NTH WALES).
July 18 Downham Market Folk Club.
For more details see events page.
Starting to ramp up the gigs again for the next few weeks and then just finalising a mini world tour of the UK in July. Details can be found on my events page.Going Busking !!!! Also preparing to go back into the recording studio near the end of the year Have a batch of new songs and tunes that I want to record.Am now a student doing an MA/PhD in musicology(its a long story!!)
I am researching the Music of the Swan River colony from 1829 to 1839. Fascinating how these pioneers used their music to remind them of Home(Britain).
Getting better at updating the site Only 2 months have gone by.!!!
it is now the end of March 2018 and I have been neglecting my website!(Again)
This does not mean I have not been busy. Still teaching guitar in schools as well as Being Chairman of the West Australian Folk Federation and playing in the WA Classical guitar society orchestra.
Just finished St Patricks day here where I was privileged to play in a band with some excellent musicians just formed for the day but may well carry on if we can all get together. We pled at The amazing Mundaring Folk Club on Friday 2 pub gigs on Saturday and In played a solo gig at the Gaslight club in Freo on the Sunday.It was great to play mainly Banjo and Mandolin (as well as a bit of bass ) for the band.
Am gong to the UK in July to visit relatives but will be playing a few gigs a festival and making a radio broadcast. Watch this space details out soon.
Well a busy few months as usual.Have just added a couple of dates for OCTOBER.Nice to be invited to play at a house concert for Environmental awareness on the strength of a couple of my songs from the new album. And really looking forward to playing at Gidgestock!!
Trying to focus more on my music (but keep getting sidetracked!) In talks to start Phd research into the music of the early setllers in WA.Watch this space.
Well finally got time to update the website.Have been playing in a production of Thoroughly modern Millie. Had to brush up on my Dixieland banjo playing .It was a thrill to play with a really good horn section. On Monday I play at the Monday Supper Club an Evening of Poetry and Song in Maylands More details on their website the summersupperclub.
Loads of Gigs coming up to promote the new CD.Kicking off at the Fly by night In Fremantle on March 3rd Supporting Canadian Band the Jerry Cans.
See events pages for full list
Well the latest CD has nearly been completed. Called Originals with Influences it is pretty much a double album. Just have to find time to mix and Tweak a few of the songs.Aiming for release in FEB 2017
Will be playing at Club Acoustica at the Indie Bar In Scarborough on Wed 12 oct and at the Folk
in the Forest Festival in WA in November. Full details on my events page.
Well my world tour of UK was brilliant.Heard some great musicians and met some lovely people.Even managed to play the main stage at Ely Folk Festival.See photo page for proof!!!
I am just putting the finishing touches to my next CD.My classical piece was played at the International guitar festival here in Perth.
Just need to give up work now!!!!
Ely Folk Festival UK 2015Ely Folk Festival UK 2015
See the News page for more Happenings!.
Thanks for visiting my website.
Having talked about it for many years I have finally decided to focus more on performing and writing. I will still be teaching which is a job I love.
See the news page for the latest happenings and hear Songlines from my next CD, Ten Fingers,
Due in June 2014.
People ask me what my influences are and I find this a really difficult question to answer. I, like many people, listen to many different genres of music. The music that has defined me from a child is the music of the Beatles, Deep Purple, Slade and Bowie. At this time I was playing drums in a marching Band and listening to Sousa. I discovered Fairport Convention and The Dubliners whilst still at school, closely followed by Planxty and Christie Moore, Poco, America and the Eagles. Paul Simon, Dylan, Woody Guthrie, Bert Jansch, John Renbourne, Martin Carthy, Nick Jones, Martin Simpson, Steve Earle. Then the classical guitarists Julian Bream and John Williams.
The list is still being expanded with John Butler, Eric Roche, Pierre Bensusan, Andy McKee, The Grigoryan Brothers, Karen Schaupp. The names and music are endless and ever evolving.
In 2012 I co ordinated the WAFF songwriting workshops. Watching a group of strangers create music together was fascinating and some of the music produced was great. The songs were performed on Bill Hales and Ray Downes Folking Around programme on Radio Fremantle. This has inspired me to start writing again after many years.Many of the Songs are featured on my new CD Ten Fingers.
See the Ten Fingers Page to find out more about the songs.
And see the events page for my gigs.
I continue to play In the Western Australian Classical Guitar Society Orchestra and love the sound that over 20 Classical Guitars can make.
Having just finished my Diploma in Music Practitioner studies, I have an Interest in Ethnomusicology and Music Psychology, and the importance of Music to us as Humans.
Pet Rock Studios
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