idiot-dog.com John Relph

John Relph has played mandolin, acoustic guitar, electric bass guitar and other instruments since he was a boy. He plays American old time fiddle tunes, celtic, newgrass, bluegrass, classical, Texas swing, jazz, blues and rock. He is a four-time California State picking champion on both mandolin and guitar and is in demand as an accompanist at fiddle contests in the West. He plays with bluegrass bands in the Washington DC area.

Hornpipes in the key of B-flat are his speciality. John Relph plays Smart, Rose and Stump mandolins, Collings and Gibson guitars.

In his rôle as an amateur musicologist John maintains discographies of various musical artists, runs music-related mailing lists, and maintains various music-oriented web pages. Infrequently John writes reviews of power pop albums. Visit his (unfortunately out of date) feature The Decade in Music, the best albums of the last ten years or so (in his humble estimation).

“Based in the Washington DC area, Dirty River performs traditional, contemporary, and original American music. . . and are songwriters themselves, sharing with their audience plaintive lyrics, gritty instrumentals, and timeless stories, which can be found on this first full-length release.”
Megan Lynch released her (almost) all-waltz album recorded late summer 2003. It's called Lovely Weather We're Having, featuring Megan on fiddle and John on guitar and mandolin. Order yours today!
John was a founding member of the San Francisco Bay Area bluegrass band Cabin Fever, along with Larry Chung, Megan Lynch, Yvonne Walbroehl and Steve Swan. He performs on the albums In The House and Live at McGrath's Pub. They rocked.
John performs “Nancy's Waltz” on the CoMando Sessions Volume III compilation CD (now available at reduced price).
. . . just like John Relph's great performance of ‘Going Places’ at the left coast mando gathering this fast waltz is an unusual and excellent composition. John's playing is excellent. . .” — Mike Stangeland
John performs Andy Partridge's song “Pearl”, shoots down “Another Satellite” and contributes mail-order mandolin on “Crocodile” on the King For A Day XTC MP3 tribute CD. Must be heard to be believed.
John performs his original song “Don't Tell Me” on the Chalkhills' Originals '98: Awaken You Dreamers CD, a compilation of original songs by XTC fans.
John was a founding member of the blues and oldtime duo Blues'd & Confused; their live album Hip Eponymous is available on demand. John also contributes guitar and mandolin to the New Agriculturalists' album Dead Dog Revived, also available on demand.
John accompanies fiddlers at fiddle contests in the West, including at the National Oldtime Fiddlers' Contest in Weiser, Idaho, which he has attended for over 30 years. He can be heard, however indistinctly, on the 1999, 2001, and 2003 contest CDs.
John Francis recently released his first album in 20 years: Fiddling - Seventeen Tunes. John Relph does not perform on it, but he does get a name check (for teaching John “Queen of the West”). John is one of John's favorite players.

8 June 2011 / Feedback