At age of eight I built and played "Chinese" music on a rubber band, cigar box and dowel "guitar" I made. At eleven years I learned some ukelele, and got a $49 guitar.
What was the first concert you ever went to?
Happy and Arty Traum at Town Hall in NYC. I was 16 years old, and their fingerpicking and harmonies were seminal for me.
What gear do you use?
I mostly play my D28, banjo, mandolin and mountain dulcimer at this point. Also have a Telecaster, jazz guitar, and fine 12-string. Also like my lil' kalimba thumb pianos, dumbek, talking drum hybrid and African Shisa drum. Free-form vocal jam and walking songs made up as I can…
Who was your biggest musical influence growing up?
Flatt & Scruggs, Bill Monroe, Dylan, PP&M, Lovin' Spoonful, Beatles, Rolling Stones, Richard & Mimi Fariña, Laurendo Almeida, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Jim Kweskin Jug Band, Ravi Shankar, Peggy Lee, Sons of the Pioneers…
Are you in a band? Have you been in bands?
Played in Marin County bands Fairfax Street Choir (Gospel Rock), Happy Valley (Progressive Folk); and in Corvallis, Oregon, played in Two Hits & a Ms. (Orig. Roots & Swing), Bon Ton Roulet (Cajun-Zydeco) and Inner Strength Gospel Quartet (Black Congregational style covers — Blind Boys of Alabama, Dixie Hummingbirds, etc…). I currently write, play, sit in with friends and host a monthly vocal jam in Corvallis, OR.
If you could jam with anyone, who would it be?
Darol Anger, Mike Marshall, Alex & Tati Hargreaves, Bobby McFerrin, Tristan & Tashina Clarridge, Tim O'Brien, Carrie Newcomer, Lambert Hendricks & Ross, Laura Love…
What's the biggest audience you ever performed to? What's the smallest?
Thousands at UC Berkeley Amphitheater, San Francisco Cow Palace & Golden Gate Park Festivals. Have played for just a handful too. Most memorable was SF Cow Palace with Fairfax Street Choir, opening for Crosby-Stills-Nash & Young.
You're stuck on a desert island and only get to bring one album with you. What do you pick?
Big question with no one answer for me…
Ralph Penunuri hasn't uploaded any pics yet.
Ralph Penunuri hasn't uploaded any music yet. Sup with that.