It should come as no shock that this mainstay of the local bluegrass scene takes top honors in this category; Sons of Ralph have secured Best of WNC wins eight of the past 10 years (they placed third in 2006).
Led by 82-year-old Ralph Lewis and rounded out by sons Martin and Don, along with multi-instrumentalist Steve Moseley and drummer Ozzie Orengo Jr., Sons of Ralph combines traditional Appalachian instrumentation with an anything-goes catalog that ranges from rock and soul covers to country and bluegrass standards and originals.
Having earned their chops with more than a dozen bands collectively, these seasoned players have made a name as top-notch performers, frequently taking audience requests and wowing crowds at their weekly Feed and Seed residency. Ralph’s motto is, “It’s a party every time,” according to the band’s website, and anyone who’s had the pleasure to see them would surely agree.
With shows already booked through the end of the year, the Sons of Ralph are showing no signs of slowing down or surrendering their title as Asheville’s bluegrass kings. Catch them at Xpress’ Best of WNC Bash on Nov. 17 at The Orange Peel.
— Dane Smith