Lackawanna County's historic and lovingly-restored Tripp House will be brought to life Sept. 15 with music as soulful and inspirational as its setting.
The "troubadours" for this event are internationally touring New Orleans musician, Spencer Bohren, who will be joined at his Scranton encore by Ed Randazzo and Bret Alexander, two highly respected local artists who are gaining momentum as a powerful duo.
Spencer Bohren has traveled thousands of miles on countless roads throughout North America and Europe playing music that has been likened to "fine sipping whiskey…dangerous and smooth at the same time." His gospel-singing parents provided the foundation for a musical style and career that remains healthy after more than four decades as a performer, educator, artist, guitarist and storyteller.
It was 1950's radio, with Hank Williams and Elvis Presley filling the airwaves, which led to the purchase of Spencer's first guitar. Then, each in their turn, the 1960's British Invasion by The Beatles and Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan's meteoric creative streak and San Francisco's psychedelic scene all served to add their own flavor to Spencer's abiding interest in traditional music. His 40 years as a "road scholar," much of which was spent traveling with his wife and four children in their Airstream trailer and booking their performances from pay telephones along the way, gave him much to share.
And he does.
Although Hurricane Katrina dramatically affected Spencer and his family, he rebuilt his life and, armed with a vast musical knowledge and a passion for sharing it, continues his journey.
Ed Randazzo's earthy baritone and transcending lyrics, accompanied by Bret Alexander's masterful guitar work, kicked off the festivities at the 2012 Briggs Farm Blues Festival. Their "true chemistry" is attributed to Ed's "part Bob Dylan tortured song-writing introspection, part Mississippi Fred McDowell world-weary, heavy-hearted bluesman…with a Leonard Cohen-esque delivery" coupled with Bret's experience both as a multi-instrumentalist for The Badlees and as a "session savvy" sought-after music producer and owner of Saturation Acres Music and Recording.
This duo has already collaborated on two CD's, the most recent of which, "Show and Tell," includes vocals by the legendary Alexis P. Suter. It is the aptly-named product of two unique and highly-talented individuals who are pooling their efforts with tremendous results, and the best is still ahead of them, according to PocoNotes.
This blending of Nawlins and NEPA will begin at 8 p.m. when the musicians trade in their respective larger stages for the intimate drawing room at the Tripp House, located at 1011 North Main Avenue in Scranton.
Tickets are $20 when purchased in advance at either Duffy Accessories, 218 Linden Street, Scranton, Nada & Co.,137 Wyoming Avenue, Scranton or at www.PocoNotes.com. Any remaining tickets will be available at the door for $25.
The evening is hosted by PocoNotes, for whom this is simply one more step on their path toward presenting musicians who need to be heard in places that need to be seen. These "boutique events in a niche market" provide touring musicians and local musicians alike with an opportunity to expand their audience in an intimate and comfortable listening environment. To date, PocoNotes has hosted 60 artists, the common denominator of which is the size of their talent and, more importantly, the size of their hearts. Spencer Bohren, Ed Randazzo and Bret Alexander are certainly no exception.
For more information about current or past events, go to www.PocoNotes.com.