There is a special place in Hamilton that serves perfectly to exemplify the cause and effect of greatness on the music and youth of a generation – Westdale High School and the late 70’s. Thanks to a bunch of friends who formed Teenage Head, the sound and fury they so aptly channeled became a siren song for many contemporaries in the following decades, including a few of the fine gentlemen featured in tonight’s episode of Barber Shop Podcast.
Ralph Nicole was and is a West Hamilton boy, perhaps not as ensconced as some other of the denizens who were part of the musical milieu of that era, but he was hungry for a piece of that dream. When the likes of Kerr, Lewis, Mahon, De Roches and Stipanitz fused the New York Dolls with Eddie Cochran, the world took notice one street at a time – and Ralph was one of the very first on board. Developing and defining his own sound thru all the trials of time and life saw the man and his music write his own story – one that continues to this day with The Folk Sinners, a rag-tag band of brothers who paint a swirling image of notes and lyrics in a colourful homage to the stories he’s telling now. Laying somewhere between the blooming fields and the cold ground, the moods are a familiar but unique take on the classic themes of world beats and local sensibilities, an effective and powerful carpet to magically ride over the lands below.
This fine Wednesday night sees Ralph in fine form, leading the band of brothers in a special performance that you’ll only see here. Featuring Ed Kopas on guitar, Bruce Mallory on bass, Rob Jarovi on keys and the venerable Michael Keena on drums, we get the scoop on the early days, the crazy nights and the path that has led us all here today. You’ll get to see and hear the band perform live as well as hearing some of the great tracks from their self-titled CD as well as the great insights and magic moments you won’t find anywhere else out there.
Ralph Nicole is the real deal and as with all things, being real and perusing excellence will see you arrive where you belong and all the fakes in the world predicting your demise will be damned to whisper your name like Rosebud in a snowstorm.
Long live independent media.