Judi has been playing music ever since her mother handed her a ukulele at the age of 8. Growing up in Hawaii was fertile ground for musical creativity since it was common for everyone to sing and play an instrument. She picked up guitar at 14, just when folk music was coming into its prime, and was heavily influenced by such artists as Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Bob Dylan, The Kingston Trio, Peter Paul and Mary, and Joni Mitchell.
While in college, Judi performed music as a way of helping to pay tuition bills and living costs. Later she formed an all-woman country band called Coyote that played clubs and fairs around Connecticut. More recently she has been playing in the Good Medicine duo with her husband Ellis Ralph and is the bass player in the Peter Lippincott band and in the all-woman band She’s Us.
She wrote her first song at the age of 15 and has been crafting songs ever since. Most of her songs are love songs, although some songs are more inspirational in nature. Her first CD is titled “The Journey” and features special guest artists Bill Staines and Stacy Phillips.
She has opened several times for Bill Staines. Bill opened for her at her CD release concert and they have performed a number of songs together at various venues. One of her previous bands opened for Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks.
Judi is passionate about music and the power it has to touch and heal people. She says, “Music is a shortcut to the Soul.”
Soul to Keep
Emily, oh Emily, I see you on the shore
Watching for dear Jimmie, who left us for the war
You’ve been here for many-a-day, watching the briny deep
Hoping for his ship to see, I pray your soul to keep
Soul to keep, soul to keep, soul to keep, soul to keep
Jimmie was a fine young man, a fine young man was he
He loved his home, he loved the land, he loved his country
And Emily he’s loved ye well, he’s loved you strong and sweet
He promised he’d return to you, I pray your soul to keep
Oh Emily there was no time, there was no time to sing
Only time for promises and this tiny golden ring
No dancing on that day he left, and very little sleep
But Jimmie made a vow that day, I pray your soul to keep
Oh Emily is just a wisp of what she used to be
No more strength to stand her watch looking out to sea
One night the ghost of Jimmie came while Emily did sleep
He kissed her lips and took her hand, he took her soul to keep
Now Emily and Jimmie are on the heavenly shore
Where lovers stay together, and no one goes to war
Their sweet love is timeless, their sweet young love is deep
I wish that kind of love for you, I pray your soul to keep
© Judi Neal 2007