Music News

Critic's Choice: Ralph Gean at the Lion's Lair on October 22

Ralph Gean's storied life can best be read about on his eponymous website. Before that site existed, most people who knew about him probably either saw him at warehouse spaces like Monkey Mania or learned of him through those affiliated with the DIY underground. Often seen wearing a thin mask over his eyes, a sombrero and a cape, Gean (due at the Lion's Lair on Friday, October 22) probably looks to many like an eccentric street person trying to hustle for some change. But once he plays his guitar and sings, it is immediately obvious that you are in the presence of a neglected rock-and-roll genius. Gean rarely performs live, but with his encyclopedic repertoire of songs and styles and engaging stage persona, it's worth the effort to see him when he does.

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.