Boston’s legendary alt-rock scene of the late ‘80s numbered quirky, folky quartet Ed’s Redeeming Qualities — who, despite an instrumental lineup that included violin and ukulele, played right alongside their grungy and indie pop counterparts.
“It was such an exciting time. There were so many great bands,” recalls Ed’s violinist Carrie Bradley (also of The Breeders and 100 Watt Smile). “The Pixies, Dinosaur Jr., the Lemonheads, Aimee Mann and ‘Til Tuesday. It was such a great scene.”
But those halcyon days were short lived for Bradley and bandmates Dan Leone, his cousin Dom and Neno Perrotta. Tragedy struck when Dom died of cancer in 1989, causing Ed’s relocation to San Francisco, where they continued playing until 1997.
“He was a healthy 29-year-old; it was six months from diagnosis to his death. It was terrible,” says Bradley. “We thought hard about whether to stay in Boston. All this musical magic had happened there in the first place. But we thought maybe we should leave because it was so painful.”
For Leone in particular, playing Boston again isn’t so much about reliving the past as it is about celebrating the present. After gender switching in 2004, Dan is now Danielle. “Part of this for Dani is about playing back here in a place that only knows her as a man,” says Bradley. “For all the ways this show is an emotional one, that’s a big piece of it.”