John Ralph – Originals With Influences


5 in stock (can be backordered)

SKU: TN2560-87 Category:


Originals with influences.  (2016)  18 self penned songs covering subjects from busking to working, to child migrants,  to chihuahua’s . Worship the fire was runner up in last years UK  Ludlow fringe festival write a folk song competition.


John Ralph – Originals with Influences

CD review by Tony Smith – TN2560-87 – $20

TN163 Jun 24

This recent album by John Ralph has 18 tracks with a running time of 67 minutes.

The brief sleeve notes open ‘I write songs’.

He wrote most tracks but acknowledges Trevor Smith for the lyrics of ‘Born to Busk’ and he arranged the well known Gow fiddle tune.

‘Running in the Rain’, ‘Stop’, ‘Take Some Time’ and the ‘Chihuahua Song’ emphasise the importance of enjoying the little things such as the feeling of the rain and our morning run.

They also warn against becoming too bound up in other business.

There is similar good advice in ‘Oh Mrs Humphries’, ‘I’ll Wait at Horseshoe Bend’, ‘Acting Up’, ‘A Moment in Time’ and ‘Caught in a Trap’.

‘Born to Busk’, ‘Keep on Singing’ and ‘Music Makes My World Go Around’ create a self-conscious theme.

Trevor Smith’s lyrics ‘Born to busk from dawn to dusk’ come alive in this John Ralph setting.

In ‘Music Makes My World Go Round’, Ralph uses a catchy chorus in the A A B A pattern with the title and ‘it makes a joyful sound’.

‘The Last Dance’ and ‘Neil Gow’s Lament for his Second Wife’ are very fine instrumentals, showing that Ralph is no stranger to finger picking guitar styles.

Some songs reflect on how we can benefit from the Indigenous experience if we are willing to learn.

‘Walkabout’ with a very nice harmonica intro, talks about the importance of freeing our minds occasionally.

‘Worship the Fire’, the water, the stones, which make up our land, the seas like they were our daughter… the earth on which we stand’.

Great ecological advice.

‘Knit and Natter’ is one of those special songs that capture activities which many people ignore on the grounds that they are too simple or quirky for attention.

In addition, it has for variety, excellent banjo backing.

This is one of my favourites.

Some of the narration in the songs is very quick and you wonder how John manages without a breath.

I prefer him in his slower mode.

‘The Observer’ is someone who does not commit to anything – always sings the chorus but never learns the words.

While others are protesting, the observer sits on the fence.

Although we in the eastern states are largely deprived of the pleasure of hearing the top musicians from Western Australia, we do enjoy the great surprise of discovering someone like John Ralph.

John plays Lowden (DADGAD tuning) and McIlroy guitars, a Yairi 12 string, banjo, harmonica and kazoo as well as being vocalist.

John promises that he has kept double tracking to a minimum, so what you hear will be what you would hear live.

I find this commendable.


Ed. John Ralph currently has four albums for sale on the Trad&Now website, all of which have been uploaded to Trad&Now Live! where he can be heard from time to time.

Additional information

Weight .200 kg
Dimensions 22 × 16 × .50 cm


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