Ragtime Ralph Lost Blues 1929-1934

In the spirit of John Fahey’s alter ego (Blind Joe Death) comes this release from mysterious BC native Ragtime Ralph, said to be the lone practitioner of the "Fraser River Delta Blues.” Great effort has been taken to hide his identity, down to the added cracks and pops on the recording, but there’s no mistaking the fact that whoever Ralph is (rather than was), he’s highly skilled in many slide guitar styles, and even more adept at crafting original pieces in which to show them off. While most of these are instrumentals, when he does sing, as on "Beef Bone Blues,” it’s in a voice that equally captures the growl of a 1920’s 78 record. As a playful con job, Lost Blues 1929-1934 does what it sets out to do, but it would be a shame if Ragtime Ralph couldn’t somehow turn up again, since these songs are about as good as acoustic blues gets. (Independent)