Jesse Jarnow

“morning sickness” – ralph white

“Morning Sickness” – Ralph White
from Trash Fish (2002)
released by Terminus Records (buy)

(file expires on January 30th)

I’m a straight-up sucker for any kind of melodic percussion, from vibraphone (mmmm, Ruth Underwood-era Zappa) to mbira, the African thumb piano. Ralph White, the co-founder of the late Texan hillbilly weirdoes Bad Livers, had the brilliant idea to combine the latter with mountain music. Throughout Trash Fish, it creates a warm bed that fills the rhythmic holes left by the rolling banjo and the swelling fiddle. It’s so unusual and gorgeous that it pushes the genre from its usual Appalachian evocations towards a place even more pastoral and dreamy. A great morning album for those who can deal with a little twang before noon. My, that sounds dirty. Happy Monday.

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