Jonathan Edwards
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Jonathan Edwards

North Attleboro, Massachusetts, United States | INDIE | AFTRA

North Attleboro, Massachusetts, United States | INDIE | AFTRA
Solo Folk Singer/Songwriter


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2008 Rollin' Along: Live In Holland
2008 That's What Our Life Is (DVD)
2006 Jonathan Edwards Live! (rerelease)
2006 Live In Massachusetts
2001 Cruising America's Waterways
1997 Good Time Cowboy
1997 Man In The Moon
1994 One Day Closer
1989 The Natural Thing
1987 Little Hands
1985 Blue Ridge (with the Seldom Scene)
1977 Sailboat
1976 Rockin' Chair
1974 Lucky Day
1973 Have A Good Time For Me
1972 Honky-Tonk Stardust Cowboy
1971 Jonathan Edwards



Warm as summer sunshine, real as the truth, intimate as a long overdue visit between old friends such is a Jonathan Edwards concert. Four decades into a stellar career of uncompromising musical integrity, the man simply delivers, night after night songs of passion, songs of insight, songs of humor, all rendered in that pure and powerful tenor which, like fine wine, has only grown sweeter with age.

This is one veteran performer who is neither grizzled nor nostalgic. These days Jonathan Edwards, a vital and relevant artist in todays folk and Americana scenes, is much more likely to be found looking forward rather than back. Still, the journey that has brought him to towns and theaters all over the globe -- perhaps one near you tonight is well worth revisiting.

That journey began in Minnesota, where Jonathan spent the first six years of his life before his fathers government job brought the family to Virginia. It was there that young Jon first sang in public a solo in church at the age of eight and began experimenting with songs played by ear on the family piano. On the brink of his teens, after only a few music lessons from the lady next door, he found that he was inclined to do his best learning on his own; in the decades to come, this would prove to be true not only with regard to music but also to life in general. Progressing from piano to guitar because, after all, it was the 60s, Jonathan began marching to the tunes in his own head rather than the ones dictated by his military school upbringing. I started on a $29 guitar and immediately started putting a band together, writing songs and learning all the contemporary folk songs of the time, he recalls. I just loved it, loved everything about it, loved being in front of people playing music.

Regardless of musics siren call, Jonathan made the expected move to college following his graduation from high school, studying painting and art in college in Ohio. But music, a force not to be denied, remained a constant companion. I started getting electric about the time Dylan did, doing electric folk music. I joined bands by saying, Can I be in your band? and theyd ask, What do you play? and Id say, What do you need? Im still that way. I still love to play different instruments. It helps me understand production techniques and performance capabilities.

Eventually the draw of the music proved stronger than establishment expectations, and Jonathan left college in 1968 to pursue the dream. Selling the car his father had loaned him for school, he bought a van to accommodate his band and headed east to Boston and its happening folk music scene.

Jonathan and his fellow band mates quickly immersed themselves in that scene, playing over 100 grueling 6/40 gigs per year six forty-minute sets per night all over New England. They played cover tunes as well as their own country blues originals; you might have seen them in those days performing as the Headstone Circus or the St. James Doorknob or the Finite Minds. They even recorded an album for Metromedia Records under the name Sugar Creek.

Not surprisingly, after a few years Jonathan grew weary of the grind, finding himself drawn more and more to the clean, simple sound of an acoustic guitar. I just one night said, Hey fellas, this isnt sounding as good as it could, and Id like us to sound more intimate. I liked the sound of bronze strings on rosewood better than steel strings on magnets, and so I walked out of that club in Vermont, rented myself a van and PA system, and started traveling around the colleges in New England by myself, without gigs, just setting up in the lobbies of dormitories on a Saturday. Pretty soon I started getting a following. People would say, Has that guy been to your dorm yet? That guy just sets up, plugs in and plays all night.

Jonathans initiative and dedication soon paid off, and he found himself opening for national acts, including the Allman Brothers Band and B. B. King. This exposure attracted the attention of Capricorn Records, and he was placed under contract with them. We took about a year recording the first album different times, different studios, different sounds, different techniques, he recalls. Recording was so new in 69 and 70. There was a song on the album called Please Find Me, and for some reason the engineer rolled over it. It got erased. We spent hours looking for it. We fired the engineer and put Sunshine in its place.

Like most of the songs on the eponymously titled album Jonathan Edwards (1971), Sunshine was written shortly after Jonathan left the band. I felt really fresh, really liberated, he remembers. I just went out in the woods every day with my bottle of wine and guitar, sat by a lake near Boston and wrote down all those tunes, day after day.

A fierce proclamation of protest and independence set to deceptively upbeat music, Sunshine resonated with t