Ralston Bowles' musical history begins with his father, who played the fiddle, guitar and banjo in the Appalachia hills before he moved to Gary, Indiana, to work the steel mills. Ralston's first professional job was at the age of 16 when he was asked to make up one of his story songs for a neighborhood party.
After graduation he found himself playing in clubs and coffeehouses throughout the Midwest, making up songs about the people and places he visited. His songs have been performed and recorded by Caroline Aiken, Peter Mulvey and Rachael Davis. He has received awards and recognition from American Songwriter Magazine, NSAI/CMT, Unisong, the International Song Competition and Mountain Stage New Song, among many others. As a Kerrville New Folk finalist, he opened for such artists as Shawn Colvin, T-Bone Burnett and Arlo Guthrie.
His first recording, "Carwreck Conversations," was produced with Marvin Etzioni and earned him triple Jammy Awards locally and recognition as best musician in West Michigan by Grand Rapids magazine. It also led him to his first commercial release through Judy Collins’ Wildflower Records.
His second album Rally at the Texas Hotel also won best album of the year and features a duet with Bob Dylan band leader, Charlie Sexton. He has become a bi-annual favorite at Boston's Club Passim. Ralston’s newest album “Little Miracles” features 35 top-drawer musicians and was produced by Phil Madeira, the band leader for Emmy Lou Harris. Ralston recorded his parts while in the midst of chemotherapy treating colon cancer. Tracks were recorded in numerous states and assembled in Nashville. He is currently in remission and glad to be back out playing again after a long two year break.