Tiny Mountain Records TMRCD101

dream debut.

Joe Edwards’ first album begins with a declaration of love to Beth, the woman he loves. Almost in a whisper he sings about the emptiness he experienced and the fulfillment she gives him. The country influences of pedal steel come back later twice, but the other eight songs are rootsy through and through.

Edwards, who was a student at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and played drums(!)on tour with Australian folk rockers The Wishing Well, was able to interest Steve Dawson for his songs.

He produced and played his plethora of string instruments with Joe’s brother Alex on drums, keyboardist Chris Gestrin and bassist Jeremy Holmes.

They recorded the well-structured songs of singer-guitarist Edwards live in the studio, a method that Dawson swears by. This time too that resulted in a clear and open sound, in which all instruments resonate naturally behind Edwards vocals. Obviously, Dawson’s searing solos create a lot of atmosphere, but so do the other musicians.

Edwards’ voice also radiates personality: hoarse, suggestive and always low-key. That creates tension, even in the swinging background vocals that he sings with himself.

His lyrics are often bluesy: he sings not only about the exploitation of immigrant workers, but also about his great desire for freedom. Yet they are impressionistic enough to have multiple meanings.

In ideal circumstances, Edwards made a well-balanced debut, which is as traditional as it is timeless. It goes without saying that he also designed the artwork for his album and recorded the videos with his wife.