Jonathan's 50 Years
Bruce Von Stiers
A while back I saw a press release about an album by a folk singer-songwriter. It is an album with all new material, apparently the first all original music album the artist has released. The title of the album is Right Where I Am. And the artist is Jonathan Edwards.
The press release stated that Jonathan had hits with the songs Shanty and Sunshine. I wasn't familiar with Shanty, but Sunshine? I realized what song the release mentioned. Wow. I love that song, which was a hit for Jonathan in the early 1970's.
I wondered what the material of this new album would be like. Would an album of just original material hold up? As Jonathan said in a recent interview with Rob Caldwell, he had never done an album before that didn't include other people's songs. So I checked out the album. Not too bad at all.
Although I knew the song Sunshine, I didn't know a thing about Jonathan Edwards. From a press release, a couple of articles and the interview that Jonathan did with reporter Rob Caldwell, I learned a little bit about Jonathan. And also about this new album.
Jonathan has released 19 albums so far in his career. This career has seen some highs and lows, but he's always done what he loves best, writing, playing and singing music. Some of the time things were lean and he took jobs like pizza delivery and janitorial work, but it was always the music, and the fans, that came first.
With everything shut down due to the pandemic, Jonathan had a lot of time on his hands. He wrote a lot of music and began writing a memoir. Jonathan decided to record some of these new songs. And so, with the help of a few friends, he made the album Right Where I Am.
The album began at the home studio of Don Campbell. He provided much of the music and some of the song arrangements. Other songs were recorded with Rodd Hutchinson. He also did the mixing for the album at his Acadia Recording Company.
A couple of artists helped out in the background on the album. Drew Levine played bass on a couple of tracks and Duane Edwards played the stand-up bass on a song. Todd Richard and Sumner McKane helped out with overdubs on some songs.
First up on the album is the title track, Right Where I Am. It is a lyrical tune with a lot of toe tapping music. It tells about how he does things his own way, helps others when he can and has burnt more than a few bridges. And that he does everything “with all I got, right where I am.”
I received the album from Jonathan's record label, Rising Records. Along with the album, they sent an interesting promo gift. That gift was a package of rolling papers with the caption “Put a good buzz on with Jonathan Edwards.” That fits right along with the song Drop & Roll. It is a fun tune about doing what you feel and doing what's right. And smoking a joint or many. Aside from great vocals, there is some terrific harmonica and guitar music in the song.
50 Years is a tribute to Jonathan's fans for listening to him and being there over the course of his musical career. It is a mellow song with nice guitar. He thanks them for allowing him to follow his heart and sticking out his neck, because as things have changed, he hasn't. He's singing and doing things as he's always done. And so, for the audience tonight, and the fans of 50 years, he thanks you all.
Scars of Love is about one night stands, affairs and the often disastrous results of them. Off with the clothes may eventually result in, well you know. An interesting lyric is “you're gonna get caught, but you ain't caught yet.” But the “scars of love, need love to be healed.” For a song about torrid behavior, it does have some great piano and fluid vocals.
Burn It All is about losing time and memories. It is poignant tune with terrific guitar.
Stingray Shuffle is a fun, toe tapping tune. It was about getting stung by a stingray and the somewhat comical results among other things.
There Comes A Time is a love song.
Groove #107 closes out the album. It has Jonathan speaking about a variety of things with an almost otherworldly soundtrack behind his words.
Right Where I Am is chock full of the types of songs that Jonathan Edwards fans have come to know and love. The songs are earnest and Jonathan pulls no punches on his views on life and love. Not only is this a great album for Jonathan's existing fans, it will be a nice introduction for people who don't know his music.
At age 72, one might think that Jonathan Edwards would slow down and maybe even retire. But that doesn't seem to be something that even enters his mind. As I write this, Jonathan is rehearsing for a couple of upcoming shows. These will be the first shows that he's done in almost two years. But, by all indications, these shows will be far from the last the Jonathan will do.
If you'd like to find out more about Jonathan Edwards and his new album, Right Where I Am, visit http://www.jonathanedwards.net . He also has a Facebook music page atwww.facebook.com/JonathanEdwardsmusic .
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© 2021 Bruce E Von Stiers