Jangling Sparrows
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Jangling Sparrows

Asheville, North Carolina, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Asheville, North Carolina, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Americana Rock




"Sound Track web extra: “Stranger Things and Truer Words”"

Alli Marshal April 12, 2014
“Radio, play me into town,” is the request of local singer-songwriter Paul Edelman on Stranger Things and Truer Words, his February release. The album — highly deserving of radio attention — is a pitch-perfect collection, inspired largely by travel — in both the exterior and interior sense. The 10 tracks stitch dusty Americana and gritty folk-rock with jangly guitar and the kind of songwriting that hits sharp and sticks strong as a stubborn splinter. In the very best way.
“New Wheels” is the kind of twangy, dusky sonic expanse in which you can lose yourself. “I’m almost at the horizon and I’ll hold myself to what I find, but I’ll run out of road before I get you out of my mind,” Edelman sings. Steel guitar reinforces the track’s wistful romance.
“Chase It Down” opens like a kind of talking blues and then expands into an almost mystical melody underscored by rhythmic finger strumming, well-matched by tasteful percussion. The organ (by Steve Fordham, formerly of Mavis Staples’ band) floats, ethereal through the background, more breezy than funky.

Edelman has a unique singing style. His is not a wispy or delicate vocal. He may well be most at home on the stomping honky-tonk of “Friend You Need,” his delivery a winking, G-dropping, country-fried intonation. But even at his most rootsy — perhaps the sweetly stripped-down folk number “Campfire Song” — there’s a supple refinement just beyond Edelman’s rough exterior. He’s the modern cowboy poet, the troubadour in Carhartts and workbooks.
“The Ballad of Lizzie Mainford” aptly synthesizes that roughness and delicacy in a story-song. It’s hard not to fall in sync with the track’s easy groove, lulled by the chugging beat and cool, aerial organ tones. Again, the use of keys is inspired. THis is not the kind of album on which you’d expect to find those keyboard parts, and yet it would be a completely different project without the prudent addition of that instrument. In “Lizzie Mainford,” as much as the lyrics spin the engaging tale of a woman on the run (away from something or to it is hard to say), it’s Edelman’s use of white space and silence, both as a writer and a singer — that really elevates the song. That and the train-on-tracks chug of the hushed chorus: “It’s a ride, it’s a ride, it’s a ride, it’s a ride.”
A number of tracks — “Lizzie Mainford” and the brilliantly-named “Trouble is a Stray” — nod to Bob Dylan’s word-dense brand of folk. Edelman excels at this style, making it more of his own thing than straight-forward derivation. But the album smartly shows the songwriter’s full hand. It wraps with the twilit “Daddy Says,” a lullaby of sorts. Hand drum burbles and a gravelly low vocal compliments the song’s dad-isms: “Daddy says you never get older now, daddy says you always stay the same. Sometimes it’ll tap you on the shoulder, son. Sometimes it just rains on your game.”
The simple warmth of the track belies the complexity of its composition and emotionalism — but that’s Edelman’s charm. He wraps deep thought in the cozy flannel of his contagious song-craft. While Stranger Things and Truer Words stops just shy of being hooky, it manages to be as instantly-familiar as it is unexpected.

- See more at: http://pedelman.com/stranger_things/#sthash.oe0nVumB.dpuf - Mountain Xpress

"Paul Edelman crafts gem in ‘Stranger Things & Truer Words’"

Pittsburgh In Tune
Jeffrey Sisk April 03, 2015

Posted on April 3, 2015
Paul Edelman‘Stranger Things & Truer Words’
Paul Edelman (self-released)
4 stars out of 5
North Carolina singer/songwriter Paul Edelman has an absolute gem on his hands in latest album “Stranger Things & Truer Words.” It’s a terrific 12-track collection of Americana/folk tunes that showcase Edelman’s first-rate songwriting chops.
Paul Edelman CD“I find my inspiration from the darker side of human nature,” explains Edelman, a past winner of the 2009 Flat Rock Music Festival songwriting competition. “I like to shine a flashlight into the crevices of ourselves, pull scabs off, then the redemption lies in the shared experience of the song.”
Twangy keeper “The Highway Doesn’t Know” launches the 44-minute slab in fine fashion, and Edelman later soars on standouts “Chase It Down,” “Friend You Need,” “Campfire Song,” “Ballad of Lizzie Mainford,” “Daddy Says” and “Annie Let’s Roll” — but truth be told, there really isn’t a misstep to be found anywhere on the album. Do yourself a favor and track down a copy of “Stranger Things & Truer Words.” You won’t regret it. (Jeffrey Sisk)
- See more at: http://pedelman.com/stranger_things/#sthash.oe0nVumB.dpuf - Pittsburgh In Tune

"Jangling Sparrow Paul Edelman Proves That Contentment Doesn’t Always Kill the Songwriter"

Kevin Oliver June 19, 2014

By Kevin Oliver
Thursday, June 19, 2014

Paul Edelman
Since moving to Asheville, N.C., five years ago from his native Philadelphia, Paul Edelman, who performs in various configurations as The Jangling Sparrow, has been happy — which has become a big worry when it comes to his music.

“I get my inspiration from the darker side of human nature, so I was concerned a happy life would destroy my writing,” Edelman says. “I spent a few years pushing that kind of progress in my life off; I truly believe that happiness comes not from ignoring scary thoughts, however, but facing them.
With a wife and a teenage stepdaughter who's a model student, Edelman the musician might have cause for concern, but he’s not really a confessional songwriter. He’s more a detached storyteller, observing his surroundings and mining them for content without making it all about him.

“I need to close off from the family dynamic when I'm in the process of writing songs,” he explains, “I'm like Jack in The Shining about getting interrupted when I'm in the writing mode.”

That single-minded focus bears fruit on Stranger Things and Truer Words, Edelman's latest album, one that he is pushing out for a wider national release come August. With a drawl like Steve Forbert and a weariness worthy of Ryan Adams, songs such as “The Highway Doesn't Know” have a John Prine-like eye for detail. “Campfire Song” sounds much like a real fireside rumination written beside a slowly dying bed of coals. “Trouble is a Stray” begins like a portentous Dylan outtake from the Freewheelin’ era, but Edelman swears no particular allegiance to Bob or any other musical iconoclast.

“My influences from any big-name artists are more visceral,” he claims, “I consider Dylan like every other songwriter — he wrote brilliant songs for the time he wrote them in and capitalized on what was going on musically. I respect his career like I do Picasso's, or Clint Eastwood's; they all have prolific and long runs and have ignored their critics.”

One of the more interesting influences on the new album came from a serendipitous neighbor.

“This guy moved in upstairs from me,” Edelman recalls, “a super nice guy with white hair and a ponytail who told me he was playing piano at a resort in the mountains. He wanted to come over and jam and I kept blowing him off thinking I wouldn't really be into what he was doing — until the day he brought his laptop with him, so he could show me a clip of his last show. It was him playing on The Tonight Show with Mavis Staples.”

That upstairs neighbor turned out to be keyboardist Steve Fordham, who spent years in Staples' backing ensemble and played all the piano and organ parts on Edelman's new album. Fordham contributes to Stranger Things’ fuller, more band-like atmosphere, injecting a little bit of soul into Edelman's otherwise standard singer-songwriter stance.

The singer’s current live setup features just him and a keyboard player — not Fordham, who now resides in Colorado — though he has done everything from solo shows to fronting a three- or four-piece band. But however he performs, Edelman is happy with where he’s at.

“It's beautiful here,” he says of his mountain home. “I can come home from a bad day at work, see the Smoky Mountains over the hill and think, 'Oh, yeah, I live here,' and be alright.”
- See more at: http://pedelman.com/stranger_things/#sthash.oe0nVumB.dpuf - Columbia Free Times

"Asheville Review"

"comes out of the gate with a heavy americana wall of sound."
2/2/11 - Mountain Xpress

"Mountain Xpress"

"Edelman makes short work of simple but effective lyrics, driving percussion, searing guitars and hooky melodies. This is the soundtrack to chilly winter nights huddled in steamy bars; or long drives in a muscle car, the road partially obscured by frosty windows. Hints of Springsteen …are balanced with Edelman’s original sound; an imperfect but comfortable voice and addictive, narrative songs"
12/10 - Asheville, NC

"The Corner News"

"You don’t want to miss Paul Edelman’s performance. Edelman has a sound that calls to mind some of the best of the genre, but what really sets him apart is his songwriting.
Edelman never goes for the easy or expected hook. He takes risks with chord changes reminiscent of some of Patterson Hood’s more unexpected turns in otherwise sonically conventional tunes. He also has the capacity to go broad and catchy, sounding a bit like the illegitimate lovechild of John Prine and Jay Farrar standing in for Ryan Adams.." - Auburn, AL



Nearly born on the airplane from Columbus to Philly, The Jangling Sparrow prefers to quietly let others play their hand. He has cultivated a passionate, loyal following with his provocative lyrics and moving performances.

Edgy and misty, tough and tender, from a holler to a whisper. Paul Edelman writes brilliant, unique, timeless, original Americana songs

“Edelman has a sound that calls to mind some of the best of the genre, but what really sets him apart is his songwriting.” The Corner News-Auburn, AL

"Country songs as true as any that emerged from the glory days of Nashville (or early Son Volt). Edelman leads his tight, crisp trio into territory both tender and tough..”

Philly Weekly

"Paul is a real dynamo. between his work with groups like the Jangling Sparrows and his own solo performance, he is an emerging talent that is rising fast and headed sky high."

- Gene Shay, Host of WXPN Sunday Night Folk Show, Philly

"...the most stunningly beautiful piece of 'cosmic american music' this reviewer has come across since the golden times of Uncle Tupelo.."

- Marriane Ebertowski, Rockzilla World,

review of premiere cd

North American and Susquehanna

To date, Paul has shared bills with Scott Miller, Robert Earl Kean, James McMurtry, Neko Case, Big Sandy, Langhorne Slim, Patty Larkin, Drive-by Truckers, The Sadies, Slim Cessna, Bottle Rockets, Grayson Capps, among many others.

Paul has worked with some of the industries greatest names, he has recorded with Jimmy Johnson (founder Muscle Shoals Studio), Nashville session staple drummer, Martin Parker (Ricky Scaggs, Alison Krauss, Pattti Loveless) and keyboardist Steve Fordham (Mavis Staples)

Paul has relocated to Asheville, NC where he quickly grabbed winner of the 2009 Flat Rock Music Festival songwriter competition

Paul currently tours solo, duo, and with his band, Jangling Sparrows.