Archive for the Kathleen Edwards Category

Weekend YouTube: Kathleen Edwards

Posted in Kathleen Edwards on February 5, 2011 by AmericanaPulse

I came across these two amazing videos of Kathleen Edwards last week and just had to share them with you.  The lighting on these is pretty cool. I wish the whole concert had been recorded this way.

Canadiana Week: Round Up

Posted in Canadiana Week, Kathleen Edwards, Luke Doucet, The Duhks on February 19, 2010 by AmericanaPulse

Canadiana Week draws to a close now, and I hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about some of our friends from the North. During the week, I tried to focus on new music from some newer and less well known artists. Of course, I don’t want to neglect anyone… so I thought I’d close the week by highlighting a few of my old favorites.

Since the week was mostly female dominated, we’ll start today with Luke Doucet. Luke is a singer/songwriter from Halifax who is also phenomenally talented on the guitar. He spent many years as a touring guitarist for Sarah McLachlan while also building his name as a solo artist. Luke is also a sought after producer who has helmed albums by NQ Arbuckle and his wife Melissa McClelland. His 2008 release Blood’s Too Rich was one of my favorite albums of that year… full of blazing guitars and up tempo rockers. This is a down tempo track from the album, the slow building “Bombs Away.”
Luke Doucet: Bombs Away (Buy Album)
The Duhks are another act that has made a lot of noise over the past decade. Originally forming in Winnipeg, The Duhks have performed all over the world with their unique amalgam of modern Celtic, Latin, String Band, and Bluegrass music. The original lineup featured Jordan McConnell on guitar, Leonard Podolak on banjo, Tania Elizabeth on fiddle, Scott Senior on percussion, and Jessee Havey on vocals. Senior and Havey were replaced a few years back by the brother and sister combo of Christian and Sarah Dugas. Earlier this week, Elizabeth announced her departure from the group. No matter the lineup, The Duhks bring a freshness and energy to their sound that always keeps me hooked. This is an instrumental featuring the orginal quintet.
The Duhks: The Magnolia Set (Buy Album)

What else can I say about Kathleen Edwards that I haven’t already said before? She’s one of my favorite artists from any country, and this week would be incomplete without hearing from the Ottowa native. I won’t bore you by going on about her again. Instead, here’s a track from her debut album Failer. You can hear a track from her super-rare debut EP Building 55 over at Star Maker Machine.

Kathleen Edwards: The Lone Wolf (Buy Album)
Note: This post could (and should) include many more artists. Sarah Harmer, The Cowboy Junkies, The Clumsy Lovers, Fred Eaglesmith, and many others come to mind. Unfortunately, I feel like warmed over death right now and just don’t have the energy for it. You can find info on some of these artists, and others, at Star Maker Machine… we’re doing a Canada themed week there as well.

Top 10 Americana Albums of the Decade: #10 – Back to Me

Posted in Kathleen Edwards, Top 10 Americana Albums: 2000-2009 on November 12, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

Released in 2005, Kathleen Edwards’ sophomore effort Back to Me had some big shoes to fill in attempting to live up to her debut album Failer. All that album did was get nominated for “Album of the Year” at the Americana Music Awards (Kathleen lost to Johnny Cash), prompt the AMA to create a “Best New/Emerging Artist” category the following year, and place the Canadian songwriter on the map as a new and important voice in Americana music.

Fortunately, Back to Me was able to live up to expectations and deliver on the promise shown by Kathleen on her debut disc. The album opener “In State” sets the tone for the proceedings by giving us a glimpse at the hard edged persona that is so often present in her songs. This track serves as a warning to the singer’s no good man that he needs to clean up his act before she tells what she knows and gets him locked up in a state pen. As Kathleen puts it, “I know where the cops hang out./I know where you’ll be found./I know what you’re all about./I know when you’re going down.” We’ve all been warned that Kathleen is not to be messed with.
The attitude shows up again on the album’s title track in the form of a scorned lover who is determined to use every trick at her disposal to make her man come back. The attitude turns to incredulousness on “What Are You Waiting For?” (a song I recently featured in my “Songs I Can’t Play on the Radio” post) when the subject of the song tells Kathleen he likes her better in his memory. Her response is classic.
Of course, the album has its tender moments as well. “Copied Keys” is a very heartfelt song about picking up roots and moving to a strange place to be with someone you love. It’s not hard to feel displaced at times in a new town. Kathleen captures those feelings perfectly.
Musically, Kathleen creates an inviting roots-rock sound that brings a sense of warmth to her often confrontational lyrics. I’ve described her sound before as as what you might expect if Tom Petty and Lucinda Williams had a daughter who grew up in Canada listening to Neil Young. Kathleen herself has cited Petty as the biggest influence on her sound. That’s never more apparent as in the guitar solo on the title track. The fact that Heartbreaker Benmont Tench appears on the album certainly doesn’t hurt that comparison either.
I could have easily placed any of Kathleen Edward’s three albums on this list. I love all three. There’s something about this one though that just puts it over the top for me. Here are two of the tracks that I mentioned above.
Kathleen Edwards: In State (Buy Album)
Kathleen Edwards: Copied Keys (Buy Album)

I Bet You They Won’t Play This Song on the Radio

Posted in Kathleen Edwards, Lucinda Williams, Monty Python, Ryan Adams on November 3, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

Monty Python’s Flying Circus: I Bet You They Won’t Play This Song on the Radio (Buy Album)

I often find myself listening to new music with my “DJ ears.” That is, any time I hear something new, I ask myself if it passes the radio test. Is this really something that I envision myself playing on the air?
Most of the time the answer is obvious. The song is immediately catchy and passes the test, or it inspires the opposite reaction and gets tossed on the scrap pile.
What makes things tough is when a song that passes the test has to be thrown in the scrap heap due to an unfortunate word or phrase that makes the song run afoul of the FCC guidelines for decency. One four letter word can ruin a four minute song for radio play.
I’ve struggled with this for a while now as many of my favorite artists have one (or more) of those songs that would likely get me fined or fired if they ever showed up on my playlist. Luckily, I have a blog now.
Here are three songs that rank among my all-time favorites but have never gotten one single spin on the air. I already wrote about Lucinda Williams’ “Essence” over at Star Maker Machine. “Come Pick Me Up” is my favorite Ryan Adams song, and Kathleen Edwards’ “What Are You Waiting For” contains my single favorite delivery of a naughty word in song.
I’m not particularly proud of what this post says about me as a person… but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless.
Lucinda Williams: Essence (Buy Album)
Ryan Adams: Come Pick Me Up (Buy Album)
Kathleen Edwards: What Are You Waiting For (Buy Album)

Random Weekend Post: Clare Burson & Kathleen Edwards

Posted in Clare Burson, Kathleen Edwards, youtube on July 18, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

On vacation this week… but I’ll try to throw up a quick post or two if I have the time.

Here’s another weekend quickie for ya.

This one features Kathleen Edwards playing the violin with singer/songwriter Clare Burson on Burson’s “Boat of Leaves.” It’s from the show the two played together in Knoxville back in March.

I emailed back and forth a bit with Clare last week, and you’ll be pleased to know that her new album, Silver & Ash should be released in early 2010. Until then… enjoy this.

Kathleen Edwards and Clare Burson Recap

Posted in Clare Burson, Kathleen Edwards, youtube on March 18, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

As I had predicted… Friday night was a great night for music in Knoxville with Kathleen Edwards headlining a show at my new favorite Knoxville music spot, The Square Room.

Kathleen was Kathleen… which is to say she had the audience in tears with her songs and in stitches with her between song banter. My wife and I brought a couple of friends to the show who had never heard much of Kathleen’s music before, and there were more than a few tears shed at some of the more tender songs such as “Asking for Flowers.” I guess the performance was just that powerful.

Kathleen was joined on stage by her husband and guitar player Colin Cripps, and it was great to watch the two of them interact with each other as they played. They seemed to know each other’s every move and stayed in perfect harmony the whole night. It didn’t matter if they were delicately maneuvering through a heartbreaking ballad like “Scared at Night,” blasting through an up-tempo rocker like “Back to Me,” or playfully fumbling through The Outfield’s 1985 hit “Your Love” …they held the audience in the palm of their hands.

The absolute highlight of the show came toward the end of the main set when Kathleen noticed that an audience member had dozed off during one of her songs. The carnage unfolds in this youtube clip…

Thanks to BirminghamSteve for the awesome video. More from the show can be found here.

An unexpected highlight came from opening act Clare Burson. Clare is a songwriter from Western Tennessee who now makes her home in Brooklyn.

I don’t really know much more than that other than she’s been touring with Kathleen lately and has a new CD called Silver and Ash that should be released in the near future. She was handing out samplers of the upcoming album after the show. Judging by how it sounds I’ll be greatly looking forward to hearing the full disc. I couldn’t find an official release date or a link to pre-order the album… but there is a link to buy Clare’s previous recordings at the end of this post.

The songs on the album are all loosely based on the story of Clare’s Great-Grandfather. When he was 14-years-old, his parents sent him to live in South Africa so he would not have to enlist in the Jewish army. He lived what sounds like quite an amazing life and eventually he wound up in Memphis and started a family. (I hope I remember all of these details correctly).

This song is called “Baby Boy” and seems to be written from the perspective of Clare’s Great-Great Grandmother after sending her son away. The song is atmospheric and filled with heartache. I’m very glad I had the opportunity to discover this new artist last Friday night.

Clare Burson: Baby Boy (Buy music from Clare Burson)

P.S.: This week is Spring Fund Drive week at WDVX. We are a listener supported radio station, and our single greatest source of financial support is our listeners. You can help us out by pledging online at


Kathleen Edwards Live @ The Square Room

Posted in Kathleen Edwards, youtube on March 12, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

Friday is going to be a great night for live music in Knoxville as Kathleen Edwards rolls into town for a show at The Square Room.

I can’t tell you how much I enjoy a Kathleen Edwards show. Kathleen’s live set is irreverent, raucous, and just a helluva lot of fun. During her shows, she’s been known to have a few drinks, trade good natured profanities with audience members, and generally act like one of the guys. I don’t think I could recommend her performances any more highly.

I’ve seen Kathleen perform a handful of times now in a variety of venues and with a couple of different lineups. Each time, I come away impressed, and each show has offered its own unique story.

The first time I saw her was not long after the release of her 2003 debut album Failer. She was opening for Nickel Creek on the campus of Morehead State University (my alma mater and 2008 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament participants). Kathleen was still a very new artist and still relatively unknown at the time of the show. As I recall, the posters on campus and the radio spots on the commercial radio stations didn’t even list her as part of the bill. I took it upon myself to become her one-man street team in Morehead. I played Failer non-stop on the air in the weeks leading up to the show and urged my audience to show up early to catch the opening act.

After the show (sound wasn’t great, but Kathleen still rocked out), I got a chance to chat with Kathleen at her merch table where I told her of my promotion efforts. We talked for a little while about the show, her album, and Johnny Cash. In the end… I left that night with an autographed copy of Failer signed, “To Nelson, Thanks for supportin’. Kathleen.”

I didn’t see Kathleen perform again until early last year just before the release of her 2008 album Asking for Flowers. She played a quiet singer/songwriter set in Knoxville on the WDVX Blue Plate Special with her husband and guitar player Colin Cripps. She had to clean up the lyrics to “The Cheapest Key” a bit since the whole thing was broadcast live on the radio (“B is for bullsugar” …but F was still her favorite letter). The quiet, (mostly) acoustic side of Kathleen is not one that often comes out, but was great to see. That was also the show where she told me of her desire to keep her record label’s panties untwisted.

A couple of months after that, my wife and I took a weekend excursion to Nashville to see Kathleen and her band play a full show at The Mercy Lounge (one of my favorite clubs around). This was the first time I actually got to experience an extended set with the full band, and it was truly something to see. Kathleen showed off her full repertoire that night by switching from acoustic to electric guitar… she even played some fiddle in a few places. She and sideman Jim Bryson engaged the audience with stories from their Nashville shopping excursion from earlier that day (Kathleen bought a t-shirt that said “Nashville’s One Hot Chicken” which she modeled for everyone during the encore), drank some Tennessee Whiskey, and even entertained an audience request for “Westby” from Failer. Another winning performance.

Heck… I even have a story from the show I missed in Knoxville. After the release of her 2005 album Back to Me, Kathleen came to town with My Morning Jacket for a show in Knoxville’s Old City. I wasn’t able to go because I still lived in Kentucky and just couldn’t make it to Knoxville in time. My wife made it to the show, however, and I am now the proud owner of another autographed Kathleen Edwards CD. This one simply says, “Nelson, Where are you? Kathleen Edwards.”

That night, I was somewhere on I-75 headed for the Tennessee border. Friday night, I’ll be at The Square Room and no one will have to ask that question.

Here are a couple of live tracks from Kathleen to whet your appetite for the show… and a couple of live covers courtesy of Youtube.

Kathleen Edwards: Hockey Skates (Buy Album)
Kathleen Edwards: Money Talks (Buy Album)

Edit: Here is a picture of the “One Hot Chicken” t-shirt that I referenced earlier. I wanted to include this pic in the original post… but I couldn’t find it. Luckily, my wife did.