Review: Ralph White

Ralph White
“Trash Fish”
(Terminus Records)

Many know of Ralph White through his long career in Bad Livers. Fans of that group’s output will easily appreciate “Trash Fish”, which also has the same free an fun approach to bluegrass styles. Ralph includes on this album a version of “I am a Stranger Here.” In 1999, White traversed Africa on a bicycle with his banjo and played the song with many local musicians that probably discovered the song after it arrived in Africa in the 1930’s via a 78. This and other world travels gloriously warped the traditionalist into create strange “new age gutbucket” and “mutations” of traditional material in the spirit of Holy Modal Rounders but with precision and technique.