Gloomy Tunes: Ralph Carney, RIP

Ralph Carney, who died Saturday following a fall earlier this week, is one of those musicians whose name you never hear, but you’ve heard him play. The 61-year-old multi-instrumentalist put together a career of remarkable for its range. A founding member of  Tin Huey,  a scruffier,  more unhinged version of fellow Akron-ites Devo—he went on to record with Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, The B-52s, Galaxie 500, and  too many to list.

He described his style as having “one foot planted in the historical, and the other in the hysterical… (He) spent the better part of his life plotting an utterly singular path through the musical landscape.”

Our playlist gives you a mere sip of his talent (Check out his website, Akron Cracker for a fuller taste); the YouTube video is stunningly beautiful and sad piece in wrote in 2015, “Lament for Charleston.”


Steven Mirkin

Steven Mirkin’s diverse career has taken him from politics to pop culture to high art, offering him a front row seat to some of the most fascinating events and personalities of our time: writing speeches, fundraising appeals and campaign materials for Ed Koch, John Heinz and independent presidential candidate John B. Anderson; chronicling the punk/new wave scenes in New York and London; interviewing musicians such as Elton John, John Lydon and Buck Owens; profiling modern masters Julian Schnabel, Paul Schrader and Jonathan Safran Foer; and writing for TV shows including 21, The Chamber, Let's Make A Deal, and Rock Star: INXS.

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