News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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April 18, 2013

Guitarist returns from world stage to play alma mater

TERRE HAUTE — An Indiana State University alumnus who played drums as a child and picked up guitar as a student has made a splash on the international music scene while keeping his day job.

David Ralston, an international recording artist, will fulfill a dream of his — playing a concert at his alma mater at 8 p.m. April 25 in Landini Center for Performing and Fine Arts, Recital Hall.

The concert, sponsored by Indiana State’s Music Industry Association and Spotlight Entertainment, is free and open to the public.

The Kokomo native and a 1992 Indiana State graduate, works as a drug prevention specialist for the U.S. Marines at Camp Foster in Okinawa, Japan.

Ralston also finds his second job in music rewarding. He often can be found playing blues and rock at clubs in Okinawa and recording under the tutelage of music industry icons.

Ralston learned the guitar while at Indiana State, but it wasn’t until he set roots in Japan that he seriously became involved in music. Lucky for him, American music is a strong influence in Okinawa – everything from reggae and blues to hard rock.

Ralston burst onto the music scene in September 1998 with his initial production, “Indiana Slim,” produced and recorded in Terre Haute by Dave Kyle, a studio and live touring veteran with credits including Vince Gill and Chet Atkins.

Ralston’s second and third albums, “Nail it Down” and “Blue Sky” were produced by Delaney Bramlett, who produced albums for Eric Clapton, George Harrison and Duane Allman.

Ralston had sought Bramlett out, excited at the possibility of working with the man who had so heavily influenced great rock guitarists.

A four-day recording session at Bramlett’s Southern California home produced “Nail it Down.”

“I’m sad Delaney’s gone. I wish he could listen to what I’m playing now,” the protégé said. “I think he’d be happy with it.”

Ralston recorded his fifth CD, “I’ve Been Waiting,” with blues legend Duke Robillard.

Ralston’s music is a mix of blues and rock but he’s also included other influences, including Okinawa music.

“I began getting involved with traditional Okinawa music when I was recording “Blue Sky.” On that CD, Ralston crossed cultures to include traditional taiko drums and sanshins – three-stringed banjos. The end result is what Ralston calls “Okinawa Blues.” He continues to use island music and Japanese pop on his studio works.

Ralston is back in the states to record his 10th studio album in Nashville, backed up by musicians with ties to the Black Crowes, Johnny Cash, Bonnie Raitt and Van Morrison. His ninth studio work, “Okinawa Mix,” will be available in late April on iTunes.

To learn more about Ralston and his music, go to www.davidralston.com. For more information on Ralston’s performance at Indiana State, contact Paula Meyer at 812-237-3783.

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