A. Lee Edwards
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A. Lee Edwards

Franklin, North Carolina, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1969 | SELF

Franklin, North Carolina, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 1969
Solo Americana Country




"The Loudermilks Live Up To Their Name w/ Debut Album"

The Loudermilks aren’t just versed and influenced by the Americana and alt-country byproducts, but the old school country and rock origination points of the music, and you can hear this in their sound that is intelligent, lively, and multi-dimensional. - Saving Country Music

"Lou Ford – Sad, But Familiar"

sounds like the product of a childhood spent listening to a cool aunt or uncle’s well-worn copies of Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere and The Gilded Palace Of Sin, with Exile On Main Street and, perhaps, Who’s Next added to the turntable stack to ensure a well-rounded education. - No Depression

"The Loudermilks The Loudermilks – 2014 (You Know What)"

Named after a pair of brothers legendary for their sweet harmonizing - the Louvin Brothers - the Loudermilks are led by a pair of brothers well-known (at least down Carolina way and in alt.-country circles) for their, surprise, sweet harmonizing. Charlotte-by-way-of-Cartersville, Ga.'s Alan and Chad Edwards, along with bassist Shawn Lynch, previously did business as Lou Ford, which put out two well-regarded albums around the turn of the century before regrouping briefly for a final album in 2007. They are joined here by former Jolene drummer Mike Kenerley and keyboardist Jason Atkins.

There isn't a major change in sound from Lou Ford; those aforementioned heavenly harmonies are still at the forefront, and evocative, exceptional songwriting is still a strong suit. The loud guitars haven't gone anywhere - thankfully. "The one thing that I know is that I got to do what's right for me," Alan Edwards sings on "Broken Record," a soulful, mid-tempo standout with lots of great "ohhhhh's." He also offers "Quite honestly I'd have given up on me long before now," on "Quite Honestly," a saucy confessional delivered with a lot of - uh, honesty - and a warning to acquaintances of Alan Edwards to beware of any sentences he begins with "quite honestly."

Your nose fills up with the smell of red clay amid the longing on the album-ending "Georgia Pines," while the wonderfully realized "Jim Dugan" is propelled by Joe Smith's pedal steel. The radio-ready "Come Along With Me" mixes power pop and rockabilly to maximum levels of infectiousness. A much welcome start and return from the Edwards brothers and the Loudermilks on this 10-song stunner. - Country Standard Time

"The Loudermilks – Self-titled"

If you’re going to name your band after one of the most revered harmonizing duos in country music, you’d best be up to the standard set by the originals. Charlotte, N.C.’s the Loudermilks — named after the Louvin Brothers real surname — get the job done.

It’s not brothers Alan and Chad Edwards’ first foray into country. As Lou Ford, the brothers tore it up on the alt-country circuit from ’96 till they self destructed in 2003.

The new incarnation came together in ’11, featuring the brothers along with former Lou Ford drummer Shawn Lynch on bass and vocals, and ex-Jolene member Mike Kenerley on drums.

The new band is a kindler, gentler version of Ford without the hard core gloom. Even though the Louvins’ harmonizing is prevalent throughout the 10 originals written by the brothers, the arrangements are all over the musical spectrum.

The band recalls the Flying Burrito Brothers on the mandolin chop-enhanced “Watch Em Fall,” with Joe Smith providing some mighty fine weepy pedal steel filling in the cracks. “Quite Honestly” features Louvin Brothers-style close harmony over a twangy, loose-limbed, Stonesy jangle. Although its title sounds ominous, “Darkness Of Hell” comes across like the Everly Brothers on Xanax: fuzzy, soft core gloom. “Come Along With Me” has a Bakersfield lope buoyed with a handful of rattly honky-tonk guitar. And, for a complete change of pace, “The Plan” sounds like R.E.M. on a country-style picnic.

“Georgia Pines” feels more Charlie Daniels than Louvins, but the Loudermilks’ harmony recalls the tight-knit vocal bonds of their namesakes.

The Loudermilks’ debut is a nice ride in the country with plenty of changes of scenery to enjoy as it glides by. Put your top down, pop it in, stretch out, and enjoy the trip.

Grant Britt - No Depression

"Former Lou Ford brothers re-emerge with new album, group"

You can’t mention the Loudermilks – the Charlotte-based country-rock outfit co-fronted by brothers Alan and Chad Edwards – without bringing up Lou Ford.

In the late ’90s, with music fans turning to old-school country and American roots music, Charlotte’s Lou Ford seemed destined to make it. That big break never came.

This weekend, the Edwardses (along with Jolene’s Mike Kenerley and Lou Ford’s Shawn Lynch and Jason Atkins) get a second shot with the self-titled debut by their new band the Loudermilks. The release party is Saturday at Snug Harbor.

“Deciding to bury Lou Ford, for good, was a pretty big decision for both of us,” says Alan Edwards, who is almost five years older than Chad. “Some of the best times of my life were spent with that band. But after 15 years or so, there was also a lot of baggage. Kind of like putting down Old Yeller – it just had to be done. Even though it’s still Chad and I writing the songs and four-fifths of the band were in Lou Ford, it feels like a new start.” - The Charlotte Observer


Lou Ford - Sad But Familiar (1997) 
Lou Ford - Alan Freeds Radio (1999)
Lou Ford - Poor Man`s Soul (2007)
The Loudermilks - Self Titled (2014)
The Loudermilks - Monument (2017)



     Alan Lee Edwards has been a songwriter for 25 years, and became the main singer, guitarist, and songwriter for the band Lou Ford not long after the breakup of his previous band, Chocolate USA (who also boasted Julian Koster of The Music Tapes and Neutral Milk Hotel). If there was a Most Beloved Band metric in the band’s adopted hometown of Charlotte, NC, Lou Ford still might garner some votes, a decade or more after the band dissolved. Punks, alt.country fans, and glam rockers alike agreed there was an honesty there, an authenticity not built on outward style but inner substance. The songs spoke mostly of the ebb and flow of personal relationships, and of the Sisyphus-like (yet not infrequently joyous) existence most of us south of "middle-class" immediately recognized as our own. They had critical respect, too, and from some of the best music magazines in the world -- Uncut and Mojo both talked the band up breathlessly, and they shared space on British "best of" compilation CDs with the likes of Lucinda Williams, Richard Thompson and Paul Simon. Often lumped into the Americana catch-all, they nonetheless mined the sunnier side of the street musically, with Edwards’ biggest influences (Beach Boys, Big Star, Nick Lowe) never far from the surface. 

The very first published music review I ever wrote was a 300-worder on Lou Ford's debut full-length, Sad, But Familiar. As the years have passed, I've gone on to write thousands of other reviews. Some in my humble opinion, were "better" -- perhaps more liberally sprinkled with wit, or possessing a keener sense of the nuances of the music being covered. But something about that review still sticks with me: it was (if nothing else) deeply felt, and if indeed the words served well, it was because they served the point. 

I think this is something that A. Lee Edwards and I have in common: a belief in a plainspoken good thing, without unnecessary or undue adornment (unless of course you’re talking about guitar solos, in which case all bets are off). More on this in a second.

After Edwards’ post-Ford band The Loudermilks folded, Alan did as he had famously promised in song years before and took his things and moved up to the mountains. Along with wife Hannah, they opened the critically acclaimed and customer-full farm-to-table restaurant Yonder in Franklin, NC. 

With Yonder off the ground and thriving, Edwards has revisited his burgeoning back catalog of songs and become something of a road warrior in the process, often playing more shows in a month than the ‘Ford managed in a year. He’s travelling lighter, literally and figuratively. He requires little more than an amp and couple guitars for company, and he’s moreover quit drinking, which can eat up your guarantee and your go-gettem’ in short order if you let it. (He’s also mellowed some, but more in the way that balsamic vinegar mellows into a sweeter vinegar as the years go by.) He’s begun writing anew, and if the man’s past efforts are any indication, you’ll have some new favorites to sing in the next calendar year.

Speaking of: the music, I’m proud to report, is as evocative as ever. It’s not dance-y, as ever, and it doesn’t dance around the point. It is music with ghosts singing the third register, to be applied as the listener sees fit. It is music that is personal without being personal-specific — call it “universal personal.” It is a sort of composting of shared experience, something that is rather impossible to fake without a huge helping of empathy and a great set of ears. It is music that is direct, and which can occasionally make you uncomfortable, but later (sometimes within the same song) console you like that old friend you rarely get to see: the one who, despite the tears and years, always “gets you” just the same. 

Timothy Charles Davis 

East Nashville, Tennessee

Band Members