12 Songs, 31 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

It’s fair to say that Jonathan Edwards’ claim to fame as a recording artist rests upon “Sunshine,” the hit tune found on his 1971 debut album. But this feisty number — a personal declaration of independence set to a ringing acoustic guitar line — isn’t the only highlight on this song collection. Jonathan Edwards is a work of unpretentious folk-pop, with touches of bluegrass and old-time country that give it regional flavor. Edwards’ light, slightly drawling tenor and poetic lyric sensibility make his music easy to like and often hard to forget. Much of the material has a bucolic feel, with “Athens County,” “Cold Snow” and “Dusty Morning” conjuring up scenes from the American heartland. Evocative fiddle, mournful pedal steel and bittersweet piano (the latter contributed by Van Morrison sideman Jef Labes) give tracks like “Emma” and “The King” an introspective air. Livening things up are vigorous string-band workouts like “Train of Glory” and “Don’t Cry Blue,” as well as the honkytonk-styled “Shanty.” Jonathan Edwards is an album of down-to-earth virtues, mixing traditional verities with bohemian charm.

EDITORS’ NOTES

It’s fair to say that Jonathan Edwards’ claim to fame as a recording artist rests upon “Sunshine,” the hit tune found on his 1971 debut album. But this feisty number — a personal declaration of independence set to a ringing acoustic guitar line — isn’t the only highlight on this song collection. Jonathan Edwards is a work of unpretentious folk-pop, with touches of bluegrass and old-time country that give it regional flavor. Edwards’ light, slightly drawling tenor and poetic lyric sensibility make his music easy to like and often hard to forget. Much of the material has a bucolic feel, with “Athens County,” “Cold Snow” and “Dusty Morning” conjuring up scenes from the American heartland. Evocative fiddle, mournful pedal steel and bittersweet piano (the latter contributed by Van Morrison sideman Jef Labes) give tracks like “Emma” and “The King” an introspective air. Livening things up are vigorous string-band workouts like “Train of Glory” and “Don’t Cry Blue,” as well as the honkytonk-styled “Shanty.” Jonathan Edwards is an album of down-to-earth virtues, mixing traditional verities with bohemian charm.

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