Dr. Randell Young
Randell Young’s live performances have generated numerous and favorable reviews from a variety of sources. Los Angeles Times music critic Bill Kohlhaase credits Randell Young with “a tight, cosmopolitan sound”. Author/columnist Alan Bock describes the Randell Young as “genuinely accomplished and inventive… one of my favorite artists”. KSBR’s Infamous Aaron Blackwell assesses Randell Young as “a world-class blues master” while Orange County Register music critic Robert Kinsler touts Randell Young as “a masterful blues player”.
Whether as a sideman, guest artist or featured performer, Randell Young emphasizes a groove-oriented presentation with due respect for the idiom yet still manages to bring something unique to the stage. As explained by Robert Kinsler, “Just as every great guitarist from Robert Johnson and B. B. King to Alvin Lee and Stevie Ray Vaughn has performed the blues with a distinctive style, so has Randell Young taken creative strides to cut his own turf”. Happening Magazine adds, “Randell Young’s formula calls for a clean sound built on genuine Blues rhythms backed up with a heavy dose of Soul”. No less an authority on the Los Angeles music scene than Laura Mae Gross, owner and proprietor of the city’s oldest blues club, Babe’s and Ricky’s (established 1964), says, “Randell Young is the best guitar player we got”.
Randell Young was signed by Artie Mogull to produce Bob Dylan Revisited, a tribute to the prolific songwriter set to feature vocal performances by numerous stars originally discovered by Mogull, the former Chairman and CEO of United Artists Records renowned in the music industry for having signed Bob Dylan to his first publishing contract (while an executive at Warner Brothers) and for launching the careers of such artists as Anne Murray, Laura Nyro, Richie Havens, Crystal Gayle, Olivia Newton-John, Helen Reddy, Gordon Lightfoot, John Denver, Kenny Rogers, Peter, Paul and Mary, Deep Purple, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hootie and the Blowfish, The Electric Light Orchestra, The Beach Boys, The Kingston Trio and The Band.
Though Bob Dylan Revisited was derailed by Mogull’s untimely and unexpected passing, Randell Young had become good friends with Artie and so decided to complete the project as a solo album and tribute to the man that in the history of the music business ranks second only to Clive Davis in terms of discovering new talent. Needless to say, Mogull never got to review the finished product but he did hear and comment on the first five tunes: “The tracks sound terrific!” was the message Artie left on Randell Young’s answering service. The Blues of Bobby Zimmerman is in the can but remains unreleased.
Joni Margaux and Randell Young first met at the Henry Fonda Theater in Los Angeles at an early taping/rehearsal/audition for Zarbie and the Martians. Joni had just finished up a year and a half run at the Pantages Theater as The Young Nala in the Walt Disney Company’s production of The Lion King. Joni’s recollection is that Randell insisted that the producers cast Joni as the star of Zarbie and the Martians. Randell Young’s recollection is that Joni had already been cast as Zarbie and that she lobbied the executive producers to hire Randell Young to arrange and produce the soundtrack CD as well as the live show.
In the decade that followed, Joni grew up and went off to college (UCLA class of 2014) while Randell Young went back to leading the double life of a guitar player and venture capitalist. Along the way Joni and her parents and Randell Young and his wife, Florentine, all became good friends and it was always just assumed that at some point, Joni Margaux and Randell Young would, once again, collaborate on some new musical project.
Libertalia is not only that project; it is their project, their vision and their music.