Ralston | Carwreck Conversations

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Rock: Americana Folk: Folk-Rock Moods: Type: Lyrical
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Carwreck Conversations

by Ralston

Modern Folk, Americana and folk rock singer/songwriter with a natural warmth and glow
Genre: Rock: Americana
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. What Kind of Friend
2:11 album only
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2. You Already Knew That
4:56 $0.99
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3. What About Me
3:41 $0.99
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4. Everybody but You
3:03 $0.99
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5. James Dean
3:42 $0.99
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6. Being Young
3:01 $0.99
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7. Fragile
3:35 $0.99
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8. Grace
3:58 $0.99
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9. One More Holiday
2:29 $0.99
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10. Draper
3:22 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
"music has not addressed midlife with this much dignity since Neil Young's "Freedom"."
- Boston Globe

"If Steve Earle ever gets back to writing 'chick songs' he may find that Ralston's 'What About Me' got there before him. And the Earle connection doesn't end there, although Ralston isn't overtly political, he and Earle share a burning desire to tell the truth and nothing but the truth"
- Americana-UK

"Mature, Thoughtful. Carwreck Conversations, Ralston Bowles' debut, is a mature, thoughtful portrait of age, youth, and the place 'where dreams and truth collide'. Along the way he aims more questions inward than at the outside world, without ever falling prey to easy rationalizations or self-pity."
- All Music Guide

"Carwreck Conversations is chock-full of the smart and catchy, rock and folk-tinged material that has long made Bowles a coveted performer throughout the Midwest."
- The Grand Rapids Press

Check out WINTER IN WEST MICHIGAN Various Artists
where Ralston has two (2) songs on as well http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/wiwm

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Reviews


to write a review

Michael Mee


A musician who's on the right road. If Ralston Bowles had simply the written the 10 songs on Carwreck Conversations he could have sat back content with his day's work. But to then go out and record an album of this quality is more than many achieve in a career. There is an unyielding strength about his music, not the 'macho pose' struck by many but a deep rooted sense of what's right. If his music's anything to go by then Ralston's the guy I'd like beside me in a tough spot. In the two minutes of What Kind Of Friend - the opening track – he stops you dead in your tracks with the sheer weight of his words. The album's well named because by the end of it you feel like you've been in a car wreck. A sensation confirmed by You Already Know That, the scorching guitars blaze a trail for the lyrics. The analogies in the song take little deciphering, I suspect that Ralston's not a man for the obscure suggestion. My advice on surviving listening to What About Me and Fragile is to take a deep breath and hope for the best. You'd have to be emotionally dead not to be affected by such raw, personal statements, bearing the soul doesn't come close to covering them. If Steve Earle ever gets back to writing 'chick songs' he may find that What About Me got there before him. And the Earle connection doesn't end there, although Ralston isn't overtly political, he and Earle share a burning desire to tell the truth and nothing but the truth. Draper may set its sights a little lower but in a quieter, more humble way it's as telling a statement as anything on Jerusalem. But even in this uncompromising trip through some wonderful American guitar rock Ralston leaves little chinks of light. Everybody But You is cynically optimistic while James Dean is a 'live young, die fast' anthem. However a word of caution, nothing is at it first seems on Carwreck Conversations. Grace for one is a great song but don't miss the opportunity to listen a little deeper. The only personal details that accompanied the album said that Ralston Bowles was from Grand Rapids, sums up the album beautifully it's both grand and rapid.
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Brett Hartenbach

AMG REVIEW
Carwreck Conversations, Ralston Bowles' debut, is a mature, thoughtful portrait of age, youth, and the place "where dreams and truth collide." Along the way he aims more questions inward than at the outside world, without ever falling prey to easy rationalizations or self-pity. In the record's stark opener, the late Mark Heard's "What Kind of Friend," backed simply by a stark drumbeat, he asks, "What kind of friend am I?" It may not seem like much on the surface, but Ralston (who drops his surname) proceeds to show why this may be the toughest question of all. In his quest for "grace" (the title of one of the album's best songs), there are obstacles: angry words, wants, needs, regrets, and plenty of gray areas, all of which are handled with humility, dignity, and a somewhat spiritual bent (think T-Bone Burnett). There's also a subtlety and insight at work here that's missing in the material of most singer/songwriters these days. Bowles steers clear of the big statements and grand gestures. Instead, he deals with the quiet complexities of the everyday. Even a song like "James Dean," which juxtaposes the icon's live fast, die young legend and the final years of an Alzheimer's patient (which in lesser hands could easily turn to melodramatic schlock), is handled masterfully. And while Carwreck Conversations may deal with some weighty issues, it never gets caught up in philosophical sludge. Musically, producer Marvin Etzioni brings both the warmth and understated edge inherent in Bowles' music to the fore. His spare, sympathetic production suits the material perfectly, from the jagged electric guitar lines of "You Already Knew That" and the mandolin-driven folk-rock of "Grace" to the organ and pedal steel moodiness of "Fragile" and the lovely fingerpicked acoustic guitar and keyboard of the tender "What About Me." He brings space, tension, and even sweetness to the music, which become part of the songs, and not just window dressing. This is folk-rock in the best sense of the word. Complex yet simple, much of Carwreck Conversations can be summed up in the extended metaphor of the record's closer, "Draper": "And I am but a draper in a room of wool/Looking for a pattern feeling like a fool/Trying to take this fabric, stretch it to the seams/Trying to find what's woven/Underneath these tailored dreams."
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Doug Morris, IMAG

Love this voice!!
I absolutely LOVE this man's voice!! Talk about mellow. He sounds good whether he's singing a cappella (voice only) or with instruments playing with him. He sounds like he'd be a great act in true folk singer style, on stage alone, with just his guitar and harmonica, like the old songs of Bob Dylan's early days, only with a better voice. Wish I lived near his hometown of Grand Rapids so I could catch a few performances, but I'll just have to make due with the cd. Ralston has written 9 of the 10 tracks on this album and he has written some really fine lyrics. Some of his lines could be great titles for books too! One of the ones I loved is from the song "James Dean," where he sings about "Southern California, where truth and dreams collide." Think of all the great themes you could write about around a title like "Where Truth & Dreams Collide"!! I thought it was so neat that I just had to put up two different clips from that song. Same thing with the song "Draper." It's a great song with some very thought provoking lyrics. That's one thing I would have to say I noted in all of the songs on this album. He doesn't just write words that rhyme, but rather he writes poetry that makes you think, and makes you feel. I would pick "James Dean", "Draper", "What About Me", and "Fragile" as the best on the album, with "Everybody But You", "Being Young", "One More Holiday", and "Grace" running very close seconds. Overall, I think this album would be an excellent buy for anyone who likes really good, mellow, kind-of-folksy music. Thank you Ralston, for some excellent music!
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atsushi

wonderful !!!
Wonderful! His song & guitar sound. Hear this CD.
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