Here finally is a release to wrap your ears around from Corvallis, Oregon’s Ralph Bassinger. After over thirty years of playing blues and boogie piano and writing music, Ralph has finally turned his attention to a CD release of his own. He shouldn’t have waited so long.
Ralph wanted his music to speak for itself and be as pure as when it was written, he achieved that and more. With Ralph on this release is his good friend Jimmy D. Lane on guitar. This CD is the result of two good friends jamming for one afternoon in the studio. The music was recorded at Blue Heaven Studio in Salina, Kansas, the same studio where Jimmy Lane records his own work.
What People are saying about the CD:
Boogie-woogie and barrelhouse piano afficionados will hail the arrival of a solo recording from Ralph Bassinger, an Oregon resident who lays down virtuosic blues piano.
The slow "Learning to Love the Blues," "Red Knows," and "Maybe On Another Day" feature syncopated, lurching left-hand lines and rippling cascdes of right-hand notes; ivories fly on the uptempo numbers, including "Tribute to Otis," "Angela Marie," and "Circle Boogie." While Bassinger's respect for the masters is apparent, he updates the classic piano-guitar duet format, inviting Jimmy D. Lane to sit on electric guitar on six tracks. Frequently given to Hendrix-inspired, rock-edged fretwork, Lane displays the same restraint and reverence he showed backing his father, Jimmy Rogers, on Bluebird. The results are lovely, with his subdued support and solos lifting "Thinking of Elmore" and "That's All Right" higher, and his chording and single-string bends assuming the foreground on the sublime slow blues "Taking Jimmy Home." Uncharacteristically out of his depth vocally on "Reconsider Baby," Bassinger is solid enough elsewhere to make Waiting for My Train (Blue Monk Records) a keeper.
Tony Hyslop, Blues Revue Magazine Dec/Jan 2008
Ralph Bassinger is a blues & boogie woogie pianoplayer from Oregon, who's been playing for almost 30 years. Although he plays that long, this is his first solo recording. Before now he only did session work and was a pianist in a few bands.
On this debut "Waiting For My Train", which was encouraged by Jimmy D.Lane, the superb guitarplayer, which insiders will know as Jimmy Rogers' son, he plays and sings "live" in the studio without any overdubs, some boogie woogie numbers and slower blues piano songs. All his own material,except two:"That's Allright" by Jimmy Rogers, mentioned above, and "Reconsider Baby" by Lowell Fullsom. Why Ralph waited this long to record his first cd is what we ask ourselves, because this pianoplayer sure knows how to play those keys, that's for sure. After 30 years of playing he should know how,O.K., but there's more, this man has "it". The same thing Pinetop Perkins, Otis Spann and Jimmy Yancey also had: the perfect emotion, the perfect timing, that "feeling" for those keys, something only a few piano players had. An incredible example of that is: "Red Knows". I was a big fan of Otis Spann and his unique style of playing, and therefore I was very happy to be able to talk to Paul Osher this week , who played together with Otis in Muddy Waters band, and they both lived in Muddy's house for four
years, but since Otis died I seldom or better said: never, heard that piano sound again, until now, because this is the man, who, just like Otis Spann, knows how it should be done: Those subtile high notes, wonderful!.
"Red Knows" is a song I listened to twice in a row, something which never happened to me ever before. That Ralph seems to be a fan of Otis Spann too,is proved by his opening track, the boogie woogie "Tribute to Otis". Another example of splendid barrelhouse is the titlesong "Waiting for my train".The guitar work of Jimmy D. Lane on the track his father Jimmy Rogers wrote is
perfect for this cd. Different from his own style, it's subtile and laid back, and leaves lots of space for Bassinger's piano. "Thinking Of Elmore" is of course a tribute to the king of slide, again it's a great boogie. The slow: "Learning How To Love The Blues" once again reminds me of Otis Spann. The changing between boogie woogie and slower piano blues keeps this CD interesting. "Salina Shuffle", " Mississippi Mind" and "Circle Boogie", is almost complete rock and roll, interacting with "Reconsider Baby" and "Taking
Jimmy Home", with the wonderful guitar of Jimmy D. Lane, who takes the tempo down for a while. To end...2 swinging barrelhouse tracks "Barrel By The Door" and "Angela Marie", stirring things up one more time. Ralph Bassinger,
a bluespianoplayer who, playing live and by himself, captivates your attention from beginning to end. On some of the songs when guitarplayer Jimmy.D lends a helping hand, things get even better. Few will do better.
Hats off to Ralph (and Jimmy D.)
What a refreshing disc of boogie Blues piano this is. A style of music that just does not get a lot of attention nowadays. There are a lot of great piano players to be heard, but they're simply not releaseing a lot of this type of piano recordings much anymore There was a time when you could hear the likes of Memphis Slim, Little Brother Montgomery or Otis Spann tearing up the keys, and thanks to Ralph Bassinger, we're assured that it is not a dead art form.
Recorded at the illustrious Blue Heaven Studios in Salina, Kansas, Bassinger takes us on a barrelhouse joyride accompanied only on a handful of tracks by guitar master Jimmy D. Lane, the son of the legendary Jimmy Rogers. The chemistry between the two is brilliant, but the guitar is simply accompaniment. It is the piano which is far and away the star of this disc and Ralph Bassinger's fingerwork flying across those 88s is stunning. The opening track is aptly titled "Tribute To Otis" and one listen tells you it is a fitting shout out to the former Muddy Waters keyboard great. It also bears witness to what is in store throughout the rest of the disc. Ther is no lull on this recording. All but two of the tracks are originals, with the covers being nice takes on Jimmy Rogers' "That's All Right" and Lowell Fulson's "Rconsider Baby."
If you're a fan of boogie piano stylings or just a fan of Blues music in general, "Waiting For My Train" would be a nice addition to your collection. Piano Blues Cannot sound any finer than what Ralph Bassinger has laid down here!
Greg Johnson, President, Cascade Blues Association
Review from 'Blues Critic Media' www.bluescritic.com
Ralph Bassinger "Waiting For My Train" (***). If you like that good 'ol Pinetop Perkins and Otis Spann piano boogie n' Blues Ralph Bassinger's got you covered on this enjoyable showcase. Commencing with the Spann homage "Tribute To Otis" Bassinger's digit's roll, leap and pounce on the 88's for fourteen authentic numbers. Split between instrumentals and vocals from Bassinger the set also features Jimmy D. Lane on guitar for six. Bassinger's wry, dry voice has a vintage 1940s tone- full of charm- but it's that key crawling that drives the point home. It's very much a small lounge affair that'll have you halting your conversations and just listen to the cat in the corner going at the ivories. Twelve of the pieces are original with Jimmy Rogers' "That's Alright" and Lowell Fulsom's ubiquitous "Reconsider Baby" thrown in for good measure.
Ralph Bassinger has produced a fine recording any Blues lover will adore. I have had the pleasure of performing with Ralph on several occasions and he is an outstanding musician, but to really get a true sense of Ralph's virtuosity one need only to listen to his CD 'Waiting for my Train'.
From the most classic school comes singer and piano player Ralph Bassinger. He began to play when he was only four years old, and soon he got an incredible fine technique with a cool fast piano phrasing. Ralph immediately awakes passion and joy in every boogie-woogie he plays, but it is specially on slow tempos and Chicago down home blues where he really moves listeners with the heartbreaking climax he gets with an strong beat and a powerful voice. He gives free rein to all his musical eloquency along the whole cd, with different musical influences from Leroy Carr to Meade Lux Lewis or Little Brother Montgomery, Roosevelt Sykes or Otis Spann. You will find Jimmy Rogers’ son, Jimmy D. Lane, on guitar on six tracks. Both pay tribute to that great bluesman with an splendid “That’s Allright” version. GREAT.