Of all the musicians I’ve seen over the years I wouldn’t be surprised if I saw Ralph de Jong the most. However every concert of Ralph is an experience in it’s own and the energy he brings either on his own or with band makes every concert something to experience. It’s going to be hard to top his previous gig in Borger where he actually got married, but that doesn’t mean the concert should stop and so last Saturday Ralph was back in Vanslag and brought both a band and some guests with him.
Over time Ralph has assembled quit the band and mixes solo performances and band performances. Tonight it’s the full band and they start off with a psychedelic blues that immediately puts guitarist Maarten Ouweneel, Joost Verbraak on trumpet and Arend Bouwmeester on sax in the spotlights. Arie Verhaar and Rogier Hemmes make up the rhythm and Ralph’s wife Moon joins on vocals.
During the first set Hans van Lier joins Ralph on stage and that actually brings me back to my introduction of both Ralph and Hans on the Rhythm&Blues Night in Groningen back in 2006 when they released their album Brainmood. This night the magic was still there and Hans and Ralph played one heck of a set!
After a break it Ralph and band were on fire. Fantastic rockers, some slow blues and lots and lots of swinging blues that got the audience dancing. During the set Ralph got Jan Venhuizen on stage, the former manager of Cuby+Blizzards (Dutch’s blues legend) to share a story of the good old days with Eelco Gelling, Herman Brood and a host of foreign visitors.
The band then payed on and on and on. There was some real chemistry on stage there and the audience sure wasn’t going to put a stop to it. By this time regular visitor and poet Egbert Hovenkamp II had finished his ‘on-the-spot-poem’ about the concert, named it See-Saw and read it on stage.
as a final act and encore Ralph and Band got back on stage and performed several more songs. Well past midnight it was a fantastic evening where we got every style of blues, some history and a poem, what more could we ask for?