PORTLAND, Oregon (CelebrityAccess) – The Plain Dealer shared news of the passing of Ralph Carney this weekend. Known for an eclectic taste in instruments and a sometimes wacky musical perspective, Carney was particularly noted for his work with the saxophone and clarinet. He passed in a hospital in Portland "surrounded with family and friends."
Ralph Carney is said to have been killed by the resulting head injuries from a fall at his home in Portland, Oregon. However Carney, a native of Akron, is strongly associated with the Northeast Ohio music scene.
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Carney is also noted for playing with a diverse group of musicians over the years from Tom Waits to Elvis Costello to the Black Keys.
His nephew Patrick Carney, who played with him on multiple projects and is also a member of the Black Keys, stated:
"Watching him make music was a spiritual thing…There wasn't anything academic about what he did – it was pure music."
John Petkovic, who wrote the Ralph Carney obit for The Plain Dealer beautifully described Carney's spirit:
"Beyond the 'weird music' was a non-linear way of thinking and an anti-hierarchical soul. Ralph Carney could play children's music for adults and adult music for kids – as he displayed during a set I remember watching in Austin, Texas where he managed to perform wild, musically-challenging riffs while mimicking a tap dancer."
And Patrick Carney remembered via Twitter:
Today my uncle @ralph_carney passed away. I hope everybody is lucky enough to have someone as special as Ralph in their lives at some point. He taught me so much…. he sat me down at 15 and made me listen to the Shaggs. We all need an uncle like that. 🙏❤️ https://t.co/GiyZZaqgXh
— Patrick Carney (@patrickcarney) December 17, 2017
"Today my uncle @ralph–carney passed away. I hope everybody is lucky enough to have someone as special as Ralph in their lives at some point. He taught me so much…. he sat me down at 15 and made me listen to the Shaggs. We all need an uncle like that."