Music News

John Ralston

Longtime Denver Broncos fans know John Ralston as the team's head coach during the early '70s, when the squad was inching toward respectability. But those who show up early for Ben Lee and Rooney at the Fox will discover a very different Ralston -- a performer who blends a fine melodic sensibility with a very personal approach to songwriting. Ralston came to the fore as lead singer for Legends of Rodeo, a band whose 2002 major-label bow tanked. After leaving the group, he connected with producer-engineer Michael Seaman, who facilitated Needle Bed, his maiden solo voyage for the Vagrant imprint. Ralston plays most of the instruments on the recording, but that doesn't mean the songs are necessarily spare or simple. "No Catcher in the Rye" concludes in a riot of layered vocals and boisterous brass, "I Believe in Ghosts" sets hooks jangling, and "Avalanche" offers chamber pop of a very lovely sort. In the end, this Ralston racks up a better win-loss record than his footballing namesake. And that's a respectable accomplishment.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts