"But Ralph always reserved time in each show for a few of the older songs that he would sing himself. Those were the moments that audience members were most likely to remember afteward. They were a reminder of a time and place where death and backbreaking work were not hidden out of sight, but were a constant presence.
"I don't put nothing on the song," Ralph told me. "I just sing it the way I feel it. I just open my mouth and however it sounds, that's the way it comes out. I try to do it the best I can, but I just try to feel it...Those old songs don't sugarcoat anything. You don't hear that kind of singing much anymore, but when I was growing up, it was mostly what I heard. That sound's not spread out everywhere; it's just here in these mountains."
Geoffrey Himes, "If Mount Rushmore Were in Appalachia, This Face Would Be On It." The Washington Post 25 Jun. 2016, C2.