new interview with Ralph

Originally published here:

Click the image to watch the full video interview with Ralph.


Ralph Carney Solo show June 23rd, S.F. JAZZ FEST!

Ralph Carney

Sunday, June 23, 5:00pm
at Church of the Advent

Ralph Carney
Solo Series: Solo Sacred Space  

Ralph Carney

Straddling the line between jazz virtuoso and eccentric genius, woodwind master Ralph Carney has been a ubiquitous presence in pop, experimental music and jazz for over 30 years. The Akron Ohio native honed his expansive approach in the 70s as part of Woodstock’s Creative Music Studio that supported other boundary-pushing figures including reed master Anthony Braxton, pianist Cecil Taylor and trumpeter Don Cherry. Carney became one of the most in-demand horn players in the session scene of the 80s and 90s, adding his singular style to records with the B-52s, Frank Black, Elvis Costello, Marc Ribot, William S. Burroughs and producer Hal Willner. It was during this time that Carney met Tom Waits and subsequently appeared on many of Waits’ greatest albums, including Rain Dogs, Frank’s Wild Years and Bone Machine, and had a featured role in Waits’ big screen concert film Big Time. A Bay Area resident since the mid-80s, Carney has continues to lend his talents to sessions with Waits and his younger cousin Patrick’s band, The Black Keys. He began recording under his own name in the 90s, releasing a number of highly personal albums as a solo artist and with his Serious Jass Project, culminating in 2011’s Seriously. He brings a soulful mix of the arcane and the experimental to this solo performance.

Artist Personnel

Ralph Carney woodwinds

Artist Website

"...Carney playing spoons as if they were castanets then shifting to a weird twin-reed instrument that looks like an iris stalk and sounds like nothing else. Sometime along the way the irrepressible Carney plays a couple of instruments at once, blows on a musette, sings Noh vocals, plays a slide clarinet and slide whistle and is otherwise incorrigible." — San Francisco Examiner

"Ralph's great... He's guided by some other source of information. He's like a broken toy that works better than before it was broken." — Tom Waits



What do the B-52's, Tom Waits, and the Black Keys have in common? RALPH CARNEY!

Legendary Musician, Ralph Carney, Ready To Seek New Musical Alliances

Tom Waits and the Black Keys know a good horn guy when they hear one. Ralph Carney was the go-to reedman for Waits on Rain Dogs to Mule Variations, and for the Black Keys on Attack and Release. Check out his extensive discography at http://www.akroncracker.com/recordings/

Carney has been in demand throughout his entire 30 year career. "I love traveling and working directly with artists in their studios and on stage, but if there are budget or time constraints, modern technology bridges the gap," said Carney, from his home studio in San Francisco.

Working with Ralph:

Send a request to Ralph Carney via the contact form on his website. Fees are reasonable and depend on the scope of the project. http://www.akroncracker.com/contact/




"Ralph is so fast and easy to work with. His musical intuition is always right spot on for the track. hire him now!"

Stan Ridgeway

"I have been recording with Ralph since 2005. I am amazed how he takes coaching for parts that I heard in my head, added parts of his own, and played them joyfully. I provided Ralph with my tunes and he went ahead and worked on them solo in his home studio. I got the tracks back promptly, mixed his parts in, and the rest is history."

Enzo Garcia

"Ralph Carney is seriously amazing. He is also funny, punctual, super-helpful, kind, generous, flexible, and the most easy-going person to work with. And he is ridiculously awesome on pretty much any instrument he picks up. We had the pleasure to work with Ralph via email, sharing zip files, in the studio, and on the road. It's been a pleasure every single time. Plus did I say he's truly amazing!"

Nive Nielsen & The Deer Children

"Ralph delivers beautiful outstanding work in short order. He's a master craftsman with a style as diverse as it is distinct."

Daniel Knox

Company information

Ralph Carney is a multi-instrumentalist who plays saxophones, clarinets, and flutes of all sizes, plus a wide variety of harmonicas, brass and double reeds. He has been playing professionally since 1978 and has been recording tracks from his home studio for a wide range of clients for the past 10 years.

For more information please check out the rest of his website, www.akroncracker.com 



playing a few songs with Thao and the grt down stay down 3/2/13 Great American Music Hall.

Presented by: ASCAP
With: Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside, Before the Brave, Kacey Johansing

Saturday Mar 2, 2013 @ GAMH

DOORS - 7:00pm / SHOW - 8:00pm


PRICE : $17.00
DAY OF SHOW: $19.00

Buy Tickets


Artist website »

Based in San Francisco after growing up in Falls Church, VA, Thao Nguyen first picked up a guitar at age 12. She has worked with a long list of acclaimed artists including Andrew Bird, Mirah, Laura Veirs and producer Tucker Martine (The Decemberists, Sufjan Stevens) and has recorded a pair of critically acclaimed records for Kill Rock Stars, 2008’s We Brave Bee Stings and All and the 2009 release Know Better Learn Faster with her backing band the Get Down Stay Down. Since her last album Thao has worked with the artist advocacy non-profit Air Traffic Control and has volunteered extensively with the California Coalition for Women Prisoners. In addition to recording & releasing her new album, Thao has toured the US with the nationally syndicated NPR program “Radiolab.”


we now have a bi-monthly gig at the Chapel S.F. 777 Valencia st.S.F.

Ralph Carney's Serious Jass Project

Ralph Carney's Serious Jass Project

THU, JANUARY 10, 2013

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm (event ends at 1:00 am)

The Chapel

San Francisco, CA