History and Musical Style
The Sons of Ralph (featuring Ralph) is a band that plays music ranging from bluegrass to country, to rock and back! The Band's frontman, Ralph Lewis (mandolin, guitar, vocals) started out playing "mountain music" in the 1940's. From there he has had many groups including, The Lewis Brothers, The Carolina Pals, and The Piney Mountain Boys. In 1974 he got a call to join Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys, where he stayed for two years. Seeing his own "boys" wish to play music, he quit Monroe's group to pick with his sons. Marty (guitar, dobro, keyboard, vocals) and Don (fiddle, banjer, guitar, harmonica, and vocals).
Sons of Ralph now include "Cousin" Steve Moseley (vocals, harmony vocals, bass, acoustic, and electric guitars), and "Brother Oz" Ozzie Orengo Jr. (percussion) to round out the "Best Band in Western NC". (Sons of Ralph has been awarded this honor eight of the last ten years, including 2007 and 2008!)
Whether they are playing authentic bluegrass, the way Ralph did when on stage with Bill Monroe, or taking requests from the crowd, the Sons Of Ralph have one thing in mind - give the people what they want!
You might hear a Johnny Cash song, then Brown Eyed Girl. When shaggers want to shag, maybe you will hear Stand By Me, or Under the Boardwalk. No matter what they are playing, Sons of Ralph will play it well and have fun!
Ralph's motto: "IT'S A PARTY EVERY TIME!"
Show History and Venues
Sons of Ralph perform for thousands of people at large venues such as Memorial Stadium in Charlotte and Bele Chere street festival in Asheville. You can also see them at local pubs, private parties, and intimate settings such as weddings. Some recent venues include:
Sons of Ralph are able to tailor their immense musical talents to the requests of their fans and perform acoustically (with no power supply at all). They perform at non-traditional venues such as a wedding at Claxton Farms where there was no power on-site. Don played violin for seating music and for the wedding party processional.
Cousin Steve Moseley played a wedding on the beach at the Grand Plaza Hotel in St. Petersburg, Florida. He played acoustic guitar while guests were seated, then he played the wedding party processional with selected pieces on trumpet. The wedding party had to travel a long distance to the beach and volume was an issue.
The thank you note from the very happy bride reads:
"Steve, your ability to play music without electricity was crucial. the guitar was lovely and the trumpet allowed us in the bridal party to hear, as well as the family and friends. It was quite regal. we appreciate your talent, but also your ability to adapt."
Readers of The Mountain Xpress, journal of independent Asheville news, arts, and events, have voted "The Sons of Ralph, Featuring Ralph" "Best Local Band" for eight of the last ten years!
"Sons of Ralph "take bluegrass, turn it on its head, spin it around and re-release it in a dazzling spectacle."
“The band packs them in at Jack of the Wood and does many other gigs and festivals. They bring the hair up on the back of your neck.”
“Ralph is a master of traditional bluegrass. His sons, Marty and Don, have been playing since infancy, they live on the cutting edge of original progressive bluegrass.”
Art Menius, Independent Online/ Bluegrass Unlimited
“Ralph is keeping a busy schedule most young rockers would envy, playing at festivals and parties.”
"When in Asheville, see the Biltmore House, The Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Sons of Ralph at Jack of the Wood."
“Ralph Lewis was the centerpiece. The father of the two axe men that ride shotgun, Ralph plays mandolin with seasoned savvy. You can tell by seeing and hearing him, he is a master of his trade. His strong, rich, but relaxed voice give the listener something to hold on to while the "sons" spin you for a sweet ride.”
“After seeing the Sons of Ralph first hand, I now have true appreciation for them and their style. “
Duncan Chaboudy, Reviews by D
“Their songs echo a legacy of ballads that give the music that haunting familiarity you feel down in your soul.”
Geoffrey Cantrell, Mountain Folkways/ Asheville-Times
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