— Paul Simpson,

Show And Tell–due to be released on Valentine’s Day– is Ed Randazzo’s second album, and he’s enjoying the rush of being on a roll. “I’ve never been happier in my life,” says the 33-year-old West Pittston resident, and his optimistic outlook is apparent in his CD’s opening song, “Jesus on a Red Flag.” “There’s actually a church near me that has a red flag on its roof that just says ‘Jesus’ on it,” he says. “It’s an image I’ve always wanted to use in a song.”

Randazzo says it’s not a really about religion, but about finding sanctuary on the road of life. “The man in the song is a drifter, an optimist…he’s quite taken with this little motel in the middle of nowhere, with its blinking neon sign: ‘We have vacancy, color TV, and Jesus on a red flag.‘ Words are exchanged, he’s offered a place to crash. Something sacred happens, a bond between two people, a new friendship is formed.” The cheerful ditty is my own hands-down favorite from the album, and I like it even more when he tells me that its jaunty blues harp track is there more-or-less by chance. “Nik Allen just happened to be there, so we said ‘let’s try it.’”

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Sunshine Through the Blues | Keystone Rock Review at Briggs Farm, July 2012

A few weeks ago we were having a record breaking heatwave across the country as well as here in PA. My annual trip to Brigg’s Farm Blues Festival was going on right in the midst of this oppressively warm and humid spell. It was sunny and a steamy 95 degrees when Ed Randazzo took to the Back Porch Stage to kick things off  on Friday, July 6th. The stage and seating area was sheltered under the shade of a tent and there was an occasional breeze, but it was still akin to hanging out in a steam sauna. Oddly, the heat didn’t detract from Randazzo’s intense and inspirational performance. Randazzo just released his second CD, Show and Tell, earlier this year in follow up to his brilliant first CD, See that My Grave is Kept Clean. He sang songs from these two collections as well as some Blues/Gospel classics accompanied by Bret Alexander...

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BouleBlog | September 22, 2012

Striking out on one’s own can be harrowing.  No one knows that better than I.  No longer do I have the syndication, the music stores to cover my ass should I foul up (which I do often, not getting into details).  But the inverse side of that coin is, I no longer have those same sources of “protection” telling me to keep it at any particular level, to direct sales to their outlets, to “leave the acts without a record contract alone, there’s no money in that for us”.  That means, if I want to cover my former fellow band mates in their current endeavors, I have full license to do so.  If a promoter sends me a press release and it redirects me to a CDBaby page, I no longer have to edit that out!!!  I love the people at CDBaby, they are a bastion of light in an industry of filth, corruption and darkness.  There is only one other label that BouleBlog will endorse, that being Robert Fripp’s InnerKnot.  But there is something I love more than those labels…

I love local!!  I began covering the “established” music scene about five years ago.  But even those established artists had to start somewhere.  Their own local scene.  So why not cover where I came to musical “prominence”?  My local scene…

Or, perhaps more appropriately, my roots!

Scranton is the scene, Tripp House is the place.  I am able to have my finger on the pulse of local music with the help of the social phenomenon that is Facebook.  If used properly, Facebook can be a useful tool in communication, connection and promotion of music.  More often than not, however it is misused.  Are our friends really interested in the last time you and your kids went to McDonald’s?  If they are, they need lives.

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—BouleBlog | April 10, 2013

Facebook is actually good for some things!  This may come as a surprise to many, but I had the good fortune to make the acquaintance of Ed Randazzo through Facebook.  While the initial conversation was not about music, we became conversational through the site and I got introduced to a whole new world of music happening (literally) in my back yard.  Randazzo invited me to one of his shows, opening for Spencer Bohren at the Tripp house in West Scranton’s Tripp’s park section.

This show was put on by a group I can’t stop going on about, PocoNotes, as they have one of the most noble operation statements I have heard of in many years of dealing with the monster that is the music business. That mission statement being, to promote blues and roots music on the local level.  I have been a proponent of local level music promotion since I was involved in playing music at the local level back in the mid to late 80’s with Rudi And The Living Dolls.  Since being fortunate enough to establish this column, first through the independent music store syndication, I was immediately barred from promoting local acts because the indie music stores weren’t able to profit from independently self-distributed products.

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