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Friday, Aug 24 2007 | 11:44

Randolph crafts authentic music. With each song on “Lonely Eden” (Still Music) the Detroit artist weaves a compelling full-length album textured with haunting electric instrumentation, soul-stirring guitar melodies and riveting blues rhythms, influenced by the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, Led Zeppelin, Weather Report and the Delta Bluesmen.

“I’ve never been happy staying in one place,” Randolph says in a soft-spoken humble tone that belies his strong, silky performance voice and gripping stage presence. “If my style is diverse its coming from a lot of different places.”

Born in Philadelphia, Randolph is the son of a classical guitarist, who picked up his first instruments – guitar and percussion — in Sao Paulo, Brazil at age six. “I began playing out just before receiving my driver’s license in bands ranging from punk, jazz fusion, reggae, rock, funk, blues, jazz, folk and rhythm and blues,” he recalls. As he matured, he fell hard for the bass guitar, and honed his talent performing alongside along list of esteemed acts including P-Funk, War, Brian Setzer and Buddy Guy. He spent his teenage years in Detroit, and graduated from Central Michigan University, at which point he focused solely on music.

When fellow Detroit musician Mad “Mike” Banks introduced Randolph to the flourishing electronic scene, Randolph responded releasing cuts under the performance name Van Renn. His lengthy discography includes “Real Thang” (Soul City), Innerzone Orchestra (“People Make the World Go Round”), “This Means That” (KMS), “Cardiology” (Recloose) and “Out of the Darkness” (As One). Randolph came into his own releasing “This is … What It is” on Kenny Dixon, Jr.’s Mahogani music imprint in 2004, which propelled his explosive style to a global audience. Renowned music critic Gary Graff described the album as “a focused disc, rather than a barrage of different styles and genre experiments.”

Never one limited to a singular style of performance, Randolph simultaneously fronted Mudpuppy, a popular New Orleans style funk and blues band in Detroit that released three independent albums.

With Lonely Eden, Randolph reveals a deeper, more vulnerable part of his spirit featuring collaborations with Detroit musicians including Waajeeed of PPP, Amp Fiddler and “Mad Mike” Banks. “Usually an idea comes from a melody, rhythms or phrases in my head. There are so many ways to say one thing. I research words or concepts.”

It’s all there on on “Lonely Eden,” beginning with the reflective title track, a collaboration with Waajeed that incorporates harmonic and lilting keyboard lines. Empowering, driven tracks like “Leanin” add irrefutable funk whereas the mesmerizing “Earth to God” is a journey, which he describes as a thanks to life. “Broken” weigh heavy with Randolph’s rich tenor paired with vocalist Stephanie McKay on powerful lyrics. “Near the sun Telis is my name and I’m feeling unprotected.”

“The overall message of this record is for people to take responsibility for the world we’re leaving for our children,” he says in a soft, reflective voice. Randolph is the ultimate musician who lets that message come most loudly through the music.

Randolph, a prolific writer and touring musician will release collaborations with Jazzanova, German producers, Wahoo, Upperground Orchestra and with Waajeed later this year.

The album RandolphLonely Eden” (Still Music) is going to be released September 21, 2007.

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