by Andrew Sacher
One of our foremost instrumentalists and a true hidden American treasure, Ralph White has taken the back roads in his inspired pursuit of the ancient roots of music. The "folk/noise/avant-whatever genius" (Joe Gross, Austin Statesman) has made many strange travels as an itinerant musician and laborer. Thus his intimate, nuanced musical language has slowly revealed itself, along a path that meanders from the apple orchards of British Columbia to the villages of Zimbabwe and Namibia, from the lonesome moors of Ireland to Australia, Brittany, Peru, Louisiana and beyond. There is also the influence of White's hometown of Austin, Texas, a rich musical crossroads in and of itself.The above quote is about cult folk singer Ralph White (formerly of '90s folk punk band The Bad Livers) taken from 35 Denton's website, the Texas festival he played this year and put on what FrontRow called "a lovely solo display of banjo, guitar, and African thumb piano known as a kalimba." Earlier this month, the Austinite kicked off a Northeast tour with Colby Nathan, who has toured as a member of Kath Bloom's band (Kath also played the New Haven stop of this tour on Tuesday, 12/3) and has some excellently weird freak folk recordings under the name Hyena.
The tour wraps up in Brooklyn on December 12 at Union Pool, where Ralph and Colby will play with an impressive lineup that also includes Holy Modal Rounder and Jeffrey Lewis collaborator Peter Stampfel and American Primitivism guitarist Daniel Bachman (aka Sacred Harp), who Red Bull called one of the 30 best guitarists under 30 and whose 2013 album Jesus I'm a Sinner NPR called one of the 5 new guitar records that would make John Fahey proud. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
All dates are listed, along with videos/streams from all four artists, below...
Ralph White - "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean" (Blind Lemon Jefferson)
Peter Stampfel and Jeffrey Lewis - "The Bird Song"
Daniel Bachman - NPR Tiny Desk Concert
Colby Nathan - The Zoo - 4/19/13
Ralph White & Colby Nathan -- 2013 Tour Dates
thurs. dec 5th - Worcester, MA @ Firehouse w/ Frank Hurricane, Sister Mary
fri. dec 6 th - Lowell, MA @ 119 Gallery w/ mwchins and Miss Olivia Kennett
sat. dec 7th - Biddeford, ME @ the Oak and the Ax w/ Blood Warrior, mwchins and Miss Olivia Kennett
sun. dec 8th - Kittery, ME @ Ryan Harrison's house w/ Blood Warrior, mwchins and Miss Olivia Kennett (3 pm show)
mon. dec 9th - TBA
tues. dec 10th - Portsmouth, NH @ the Red Door w/ Blood Warrior
wed. dec 11th - Annandale on Hudson, NY @ Bard College
thurs. dec 12th - Brooklyn, NY @ Union Pool w/ Peter Stampfel, Daniel Bachman