Archive for the Kathleen Edwards Category

Top 10 Albums of 2008: #4 Asking for Flowers by Kathleen Edwards

Posted in Kathleen Edwards, Top 10 of '08 on December 30, 2008 by AmericanaPulse

My first exposure to Kathleen Edwards’ 2008 effort, Asking for Flowers, came rather slowly. I heard most of the record one song at a time on her myspace page beginning roughly a month before the album’s release. Kathleen would put up a song… leave it up for a few hours… and then take it back down. Fans were tipped off in advance, but her record label was unaware of her charity.

My wife and I got the chance to talk to Kathleen when she stopped in Knoxville for a performance on WDVX’s Blue Plate Special a few weeks before the album’s proper release date. We mentioned to her that we were enjoying the songs she had shared on the internet. She told us that she had wanted to share some music with the fans to give them a little taste of the album, but she wasn’t telling her label reps what she was doing because she, “didn’t want them to get their panties in a twist.”

And that’s why I love Kathleen Edwards.

She’s brash. She’s crass. She’ll drink you under the table. She has a mouth that would make a sailor blush. This is a woman who publishes her music under the Potty Mouth label. The sweetest love song she’s ever written appears on this album. It’s a tender, sincere, acoustic ballad called “Sure as Shit.” She’s anything but dainty and demure. It’s a big part of her charm.

Of course, the other part is her music. On this, her third album, the music sounds better than ever, even though she doesn’t really do anything new musically. Kathleen still wears her Tom Petty and Neil Young influences proudly on her sleeve as she plows through the album’s eleven tracks along with guitarist/husband Colin Cripps and keyboardist/guitarist/friend Jim Bryson along for the ride.

The biggest difference here, and the thing that puts this album over the top, is the emotional depth and breadth of the songwriting. While she’s quick to remind us in “The Cheapest Key” that “F” is still her favorite letter, and her soft side can sometimes be hard to find… Kathleen knows how to convey emotions within her songs.

The title track is written from the perspective of a friend who is trapped in a less than ideal relationship. With every pill, every bill, every threat… you feel the pain of the song’s protagonist. Other songs tackle the subjects of war (“Oil Man’s War”), social injustice (“Oh Canada”), family and death (“Scared at Night”), and the true story of an murdured Canadian teenager (“Alicia Ross”). Each song packs a punch

I had the pleasure of seeing Kathleen Edwards perform twice this year. Once in a stripped down singer/songwriter set with Cripps on The Blue Plate Special and once with her full band at The Mercy Lounge in Nashville. In the quieter set at WDVX, it was the power of her words that drew me in (that was the first time I had really had a chance to listen to “Asking for Flowers” the song). In the more rocking, full-band set in Nashville, I was pinned to the wall by the power of the music.

This album captures both elements of Kathleen’s overall sound quite well.

Kathleen Edwards: The Cheapest Key (Buy Album)
Kathleen Edwards: Asking for Flowers (Buy Album)

Friday Top 5: Kathleen Edwards

Posted in Kathleen Edwards, Top 5 on August 29, 2008 by AmericanaPulse

It’s time to introduce a new feature here at AFCLAAWB. The Friday Top 5.

Every time my wife and I take a long car trip together, we inevitably end up playing a game we like to call “Top 5.” The rules are simple. One of us comes up with a category and the other has to name their five favorite things that fall under that category. She may start by asking me my five favorite Cincinnati Reds (E. Davis, B. Larkin, J. Rijo, S. Casey, T. Browning). I’ll counter by asking her to name her five favorite Washington Redskins (M. Rypien, D. Green, A. Monk, G. Clark, C. Portis), and we go on from there.

Eventually, the topics will always turn to music… and that’s when things get tough. Ask me to pick my five favorite R.E.M. albums, and I’ll agonize over the decision for hours. Ask me to pick my five favorite R.E.M. songs? It may take weeks… months even.

The point is that picking my five favorite songs from any artist isn’t always easy, but I’m willing to make the tough choices here every Friday. R.E.M. will have to wait a few weeks after I’ve actually narrowed things down to my top 50.

Today… it’s Kathleen Edwards.

Kathleen Edwards is a Canadian singer songwriter who now has three albums under her belt: 2003’s Failer, 2005’s Back to Me, and 2008’s Asking for Flowers. Probably the best way I could describe Edwards’ music to someone who had never heard it would be to tell them to imagine what Lucinda Willams’ and Tom Petty’s daughter might sound like if she grew up listening to Neil Young records.

In chronological order… My five favorite Kathleen Edwards songs are “Six O’Clock News” from Failer, “In State,” “Back to Me,” and “What are You Waiting For?” from Back to Me, and “Asking for Flowers” from Asking for Flowers.

“Six O’Clock News” was the first Kathleen Edwards song I ever heard, and the one that drew me in to her music.

“In State” is a sort of prequel to “Six O’Clock News”… Edwards’ failed attempt to avert the impending tragedy.

“Back to Me” was an immediate favorite of mine for the veiled sexual innuendo in the chorus and the Petty-style guitar solo.

“What Are You Waiting For?” delivers the quintessential Kathleen Edwards lyric roughly 1:45 into the song. If you wondered why she publishes her songs under the name Potty Mouth Music… wonder no more.

“Asking for Flowers” is, I think, one of the best songs Edwards has written. It chronicles a relationship gone south through the eyes of a woman who is tired of having to ask her man to be nice to her.

So many songs could have gone here… but there is only room for five. I stand by these choices.

Kathleen Edwards: Six O’Clock News (Buy Album)
Kathleen Edwards: In State (Buy Album)
Kathleen Edwards: Back to Me (Buy Album)
Kathleen Edwards: What Are You Waiting For? (Buy Album)
Kathleen Edwards: Asking for Flowers (Buy Album)