For Safety Pro, off the Clock Can Mean on the Stage
Every now and then, a band with a gig in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area will tap Ralph Weber to come play guitar.
Ralph spends his work time as a RailWorks safety professional, but occasionally his play time consists of performing with fellow musicians.
“It’s so much fun to do this,” says Ralph, who is based in the Lakeville, MN, office. “Years ago, I played with a country band, although recently I have played with a band called Mind the Gap that played the Rolling Stones, the Kinks – British Invasion bands. Blues is by far and away my favorite genre.” (You can hear Ralph improvise some blues – starting at the 2:40 mark.)
Ralph sits in once in a while with a Rock Camp for Dads band, too. No matter the gig, “It is just a lot of fun, not only for me, but I really enjoy entertaining the people who are watching and dancing as well.”
Ralph first began playing guitar when he was a preteen, “on a Kingston electric guitar that my dad bought me.” Nowadays he favors a Les Paul Double Cut. “Although I have others, I like it best,” he says. “It is a sweet machine.”
His earliest band gigs were during the early part of college, but he says he quit to concentrate on school. He picked up the guitar again in later years. As an adult he took a few lessons, but he is comfortable learning and playing by ear.
Ralph enjoys involving his five grandchildren, three of whom live in the Twin Cities area. “I have a guitar and amplifier that is set aside for their use whenever they want.” As for two grandsons who live in Colorado, he includes them despite the distance. He’d love to give them guitar lessons, but short of that, “We Skype all the time, and in fact, my wife Face-Timed the Colorado family during a recent concert so they could watch a little bit.”