Ralph Heiss (bass)

Ralph Heiss began playing a one string tub bass more than a decade ago. He vowed to continue to add an additional string to his bass guitar every 24 months: he is now up to 5 strings but he already commissioned the construction of a 6 string bass. Ralph has said he believes he can handle up to 8, but then again, who knows where technology will be when that day comes?

Most of Ralph's early history is redacted for national security reasons although the government denies this. He is universally credited with inventing a device that precedes locomotive trains for the safety of cows and other livestock that might wander into the path of a moving train. While the "cow catcher" was more frequently implemented, Ralph's device which ran ahead of the train and attached airbags to the animal was considered a faster solution since the train didn't have to slow down. Now discontinued, the "Heiss" as it became known saved many goats, cows and horses in the years it was in use although most of the animals would moo, bleat or neigh uncontrollably at the sound of a train whistle thereafter.

Ralph began playing musical instruments, technically, before birth as ultrasounds taken during gestation revealed he was repeatedly trying to tune the umbilical cord. Working as an interpretative ski instructor in the Swiss Alps he played for two years with the Swiss Trio of Heiss and Loïc (they never found a third partner). In the 90s, he immigrated to North America and found work playing in a traveling klezmer band called Klezmore or Less. The group traveled by rail from town to town throughout Canada and the United states, earning passage by shoveling coal, a task made more challenging by the heavy coal dust and the fact that they were on board diesel locomotives.

Ralph is a talented bass player covering many genres. His tenor vocals, whether on lead or singing harmonies, raises the quality of the several groups he has played with over the years.