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 was, for some years, in great demand as an accompanist at fiddle contests in the West. He plays with bluegrass and acoustic bands in the Washington DC area. He sometimes plays in an electric XTC cover band.

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

Join his mailing list to find out when and with whom he will be playing next.

In his rôle as an amateur musicologist John has, in the past, maintained discographies of various musical artists, ran music-related mailing lists, and maintained various music-oriented web pages (for example, see Chalkhills). Infrequently John has written reviews of power pop albums.

Linda Relph, a very talented Celtic style fiddler and John's sister, released her solo album There & Then - Here & Now. John helped her out on two tunes, playing mandolin and guitar.
“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 their first full-length release.” (nominated for a Wammie Award)
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.
. . . 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 sometimes 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, and perhaps others.
In 2004, John Francis 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.

12 October 2022 / Feedback