Ralph Rich has been told that his latest self-titled EP is a perfect selection of "break-up songs." Breaking up might be difficult to cope with, but they help an artist craft the best introspective pop songs.
"On the EP, I sing mainly about past relationships and the girls I've encountered along the way,'' the Hubbard singer-songwriter said. ''The EP is six songs all stripped down to acoustic guitar and vocals.''
For Friday's EP release show, Rich will take the stage with Todd Kaden from Asleep, John Pappas of The Royal Remedy and Demos Papadimas.
Today, Rich is trying to play as many local shows in the area as he can. In the past, Rich has shared the stages with local acts such as Katianne Timko and The Robbie Jay Band.
"I'm just going to try to ride this EP as long as I can and as far as I can and reach as many people as possible. The EP just landed on iTunes, CDBaby and Spotify," Rich said.
Rich's new EP is packed with a beautiful repertoire of short, sweet and straight-up pop gems. He said his musical influences include The Beatles, The Gaslight Anthem, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and The Killers. The songs embody a visceral emotional feel that hits home.
WHO: Ralph Rich EP release show
WHEN: 9 p.m. Friday
WHERE: Lemon Grove Cafe, 122 W. Federal St., Youngstown
HOW MUCH: $5
"My most recent song off the EP is one called 'Leaving You Behind,' which is about finding out that my ex was seeing someone else. I had to find out through the grapevine and it hurt. The song, 'I Want To Know' is the kick-off song on my EP. It's short and sweet at 2:15. Simply put, this song is about wanting to know if the girl feels the same as you do about her."
Rich currently works and gives lessons at Hubbard Music.
"I love working there,'' he said. ''I'm surrounded by music all the time. Teaching there has helped with my musicality and theory behind music. Just working at a music store has helped me to network with some great musicians.''
Even though he plays acoustic guitar, Rich said he is a natural drummer. His father played drums and was a part of the jazz scene of the '70s and '80s.
"My love of jazz and funk comes from my father. In eighth grade, I played drums in a band called Krave and then in high school I took up the bass and vocals in the band The Fuzzy Dice," Rich said.
When it comes to playing guitar, Rich said he is a self-taught musician and never took a single lesson.
"I used to spend hours playing my guitar when I got home from school, which is probably the main reason my homework didn't get done," Rich said.
Rich also plays guitar in the local dance band, Super Cheef. He is proud of his solo effort and is hoping to get his new EP in the hands of many listeners. Rich hopes to expand his musical horizons across the United States.
"I always wanted to move to Los Angeles. So hopefully down the road in the near future, I will find myself out there. I have a few contacts already. One morning, I'll just wake up, pack up my car and never look back.''