During my time in San Francisco, it was my great good fortune to become friends with the folks in a remarkable band called Ed’s Redeeming Qualities. The three band members I knew during that time are still dear friends, & in fact all have appeared on this blog before: Dani Leone appears regularly under her pen name of L.E. Leone, (& here) & has also appeared wearing her musician’s hat both under her nom de steel drum, Sister Exister & as herself; Carrie Bradley has been a guest both on the Musical Questions series & on Homegrown Radio, & Jonah Winter participated in the Writers Talk series (here & here too). Some of my happiest evenings in San Francisco were spent at Ed’s shows at the Hotel Utah, Kilowatt, the Bottom of the Hill & Spikes. I’d also have to say that my friendship with these folks was a big factor in my turning to music more seriously in the later 90s & beyond.
Ed’s music had to be experienced—it’s hard to sum it up to the uninitiated. Allmusic’s entry for Ed’s Redeeming Qualities will give you some idea:
A quirky folk group who defy an easy placement in genre, Ed's Redeeming Qualities' instrumentation—guitar, violin, ukulele, bongos, accordion, cardboard bass, and drum -- suggests folk music and the songs run the gamut of influences from rock, country, calypso, and klezmer. A reviewer described them as the "David Lynch of folk music," which is as apt a description as anyone has come up with.
But here’s a better suggestion—head on over to the new Ed’s Redeeming Qualities blog to hear the band’s original four members—Dani, Carrie, Dani’s cousin Dom Leone, & Neno Perrota in video footage from back in the 1980s! The post is at this link. You’ll also get a thumbnail sketch of the band’s beginnings &—to follow soon—some information on the first-time digital (CD and download) release of the original home-recorded and homemade cassette tapes that comprised their early years!
Hope you take a few minutes to swing by the Ed’s Redeeming Qualities blog & consider following &/or subscribing!