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Ralph White & Stevie Tombstone

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Stevie Tombstone and Ralph White at the KRTS studios in Marfa. (Travis Bubenik/KRTS)

Austin-based troubadours Ralph White and Stevie Tombstone join us for a conversation and some live pickin' and singin' on this episode of West Texas Talk.

White, formerly of the punk-ish bluegrass band the Bad Livers, isn't a pop star. But he's highly regarded in underground music circles for his psychedelic and decidedly non-traditionalist take on traditional music. A tree trimmer by day, he's made his music career by self-recording and releasing his material, or partnering with small-scale record labels.

Tombstone's music occupies a similar realm of modern readings on old songs, though he's quick to say he's not one to dwell on the past - he prefers writing and performing his own material over relying on old standards.

Still, his songs are connected to the history of American roots music - by blood. Tombstone, a Georgia native, is a descendant of Clayton McMichen, a once-popular string band leader from the early 20th century.

Ralph White and Stevie Tombstone joined us in the studio for a few songs and some talk before departing back out on tour. Their latest records are available on Altco Recordings.

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