Ron Esser founded Moondog Records to support Pittsburgh area musicians. He has financed the recordings of Norman Nardini, Bill Toms, Glenn Pavone and the Cyclones, Room to Move, Stone Soup, The Pawnbrokers, Gary Belloma & the Blues Bombers, Cheryl Ann Hawk and other artists. Moondog Records paid for studio time, CD manufacturing, and printing. The artists pay back the financing as the sell their CDs. In interviews Esser said that he does not make much money from the recording. His goal to help bands get their music heard by as many people as possible.
One of Moondog Records’ first releases was the self titled debut album of Paul Tabachneck’s band Stone Soup in 1997. Recorded by Rick Witkowski it featured Carol Lee Espy and Rusted Root percussionist Jim Dispirito. In 1998, Moondog Records released Norman Nardini’s “There Was A Time”. 8th Street Rox released their Sittin’ Pretty” album on Moondog in 1999 with guest players Rick Witkowski, Norman Nardini, and Bill Toms.
Glenn Pavone and the Cyclones released their two CDs on Moondog Records “Twist That” in 1996 and their last “Cyclones R.U.L.E.” in 2000.
Moondog Records released Bill Tom’s “My Own Eyes” in 1999, “This Old World” in October of 2001, his “West End Kid” CD in 2005, and “Live at Moondog’s” in 2010.. Norman Nardini’s “Redemption” CD was released in April 2004. The Little Wretches released the acoustic album “Unimarts, Pit Bulls + Karaoke Machines” that was recorded live at the Mattress Factory in 2005. The Blues Bombers recorded their 2006 Moondog release “Departures” at Rick Witkowski’s Studio L. The Boss Diablo band released their debut CD “Don’t Act Right” in May of 2006. Drummer Mark Stutso’s album “Rock My Soul” produced by Norman Nardini was released in 2008.+