Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

JONATHON EDWARDS

My Love Will Keep

2011-07-28

Nick's Picks: 04 Crazy Texas Woman, 06 How Long, 07 This Island Earth, 08 Lightkeeper

ARTIST BIO:

“I started on a $29 guitar and immediately started putting a band together, writing songs and learning all the contemporary folk songs of the time,” he recalls.  “I just loved it, loved everything about it, loved being in front of people playing music.”    Regardless of music’s siren call, Jonathan made the expected move to college following his graduation from high school, studying painting and art in college in Ohio.  But music, a force not to be denied, remained a constant companion.   “I started getting electric about the time Dylan did, doing electric folk music.  I joined bands by saying, ‘Can I be in your band?’ and they’d ask, ‘What do you play?’ and I’d say, ‘What do you need?’  I’m still that way.  I still love to play different instruments.  It helps me understand production techniques and performance capabilities.” These days Jonathan is likely to be found on the road with his longtime accompanist Stuart Schulman on bass, piano, fiddle, and vocals and Taylor Armerding, formerly of Northern Lights, on mandolin and high-tenor vocals.  “I’ve been … doing what I do best, which is playing live in front of people.  I’ve been concentrating on that and loving it,” he says.    An artist who measures his success by his ability to attract and take good care of an audience for four decades, Jonathan maintains that it is the feedback he receives after his shows that keeps him going.  “Sometimes, in our darker moments, we imagine our music not finding receptive ears, unable to reach open hearts. So it is really gratifying to hear [someone say], ‘Your stuff has meant a lot to me over the years.’”    On the verge of his fifth decade in the music business, Jonathan Edwards shows no sign of turning into a “Sit Down Rock and Roll Man.”  Upcoming plans include new markets, new audiences, new songs, and a new studio recording.  As this barefoot troubadour prepares for the next stage of his journey, you are more than welcome to join him for an evening or two as he continues to make good on that promise he made all the way back in 1971: “Sunshine, come on back another day … I promise you I’ll still be singing.”

FCC ALERT: "This cd is as pure as a mountain stream"

Review of Jonathon Edwards My Love Will Keep:

I have often wondered what happened to the "Shanty Song" guy - and I find he's been playing all these years (four decades to be exact), and somewhere he took a right from his folk singing base to contemporary storytelling with strong country undertones. It seems he has captured the essence of Bluegrass, as well ("My Love Will Keep", "Johnny Blue Horizon", "How Long"). His current foray could best be described as a blending of Dylan-style vocals with structured rock chords and bittersweet subject matter - the melancholy of Townes Van Zandt, and the story-telling of Gordon Lightfoot ("This Island Earth", "Freewheeler", "Everybody Works In China", "Surrounded"). This diversity of genres makes it difficult for me to classify - moreover, I detected a subtle Tom Waits influence throughout this cd, but most notably on two cuts ("Lightkeeper", "Sailor's Prayer"). I am not certain where the hauntingly soulful paraphrasing of a Beatles' classic ("She Loves You") fits in, but the inclusion demonstrates the talent and versatility of this artist - as well as the talented musicians with which he surrounds himself. In fairness to his fans, I will classify this genre-crossing cd as folk. Although it has been awhile since I have heard from Jonathon Edwards, I can assure you I have some catching up to do. That's my two nickels' worth................Nick

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

The opinions expressed in these reviews are those of the individual volunteers that submitted the article and do not necessarily reflect the views of WYCE or GRCMC; nor its staff, donors, or affiliates.