Joe Edwards – Keep On Running
Format: CD – LP – Digital
Label: Tiny Mountain Records
Releasedatum: 22 mei 2020

The small town of Devizes in rural Wiltshire might not resonate as a place for many on the map of music, but for a young aspiring guitarist, the town’s local blues/cellar bar, hosting some of the country’s best regarded players on the touring circuit, offered a great education in the art of intimate and stripped back acoustic roots music.

When just 16, Joe Edwards left his weekend job waiting tables at a coffee shop to play covers of his favourite Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and B.B King songs at local bars, before going to study music at the renowned Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and having his degree presented to him by Paul McCartney. It was there that his musical interests broadened to encompass some of the great American songwriters such as Dylan, Petty, Taylor and Simon.

photo by Colin Hawkins

While touring Europe as drummer for Australian folk-rock band The Wishing Well, he began scribbling down stories of travel, love, loss and human sorrow paving the gateway to what would become his debut album Keep on Running. When the time came to find someone to record with, perusing the back covers of some of his favourite albums, it soon became apparent many of them were recorded in Nashville, with one album in particular, by Canadian songsmiths, The Deep Dark Woods, leading Joe and brother Alex to head to Nashville, to meet up with award-winning producer and musician Steve Dawson (Kelly Joe Phelps, John Hammond, Matt Andersen, Birds of Chicago).

The resulting album, tracked over just 10 days, live in one room and with no headphones, brings an honesty and warmth to the recordings. Featuring guitar and vocals from Joe, Keep on Running also features his brother Alex Edwards on drums, a collaboration that dates back to their school assembly hall days, alongside renowned regular Steve Dawson cohorts, Jeremy Holmes on double bass, Chris Gestrin on keys as well as Steve on a variety of traditional slide instruments, from dobro to pedal steel. The album was mixed in Nashville and mastered in New Jersey with Grammy nominee Kim Rosen.

Having spent the best part of 4 years traversing anywhere from Asia to Alaska, a passion for travelling and adventure permeate Keep on Running, most overtly on the title track’s opening lines, “I’m driving through an open road, my mind is free, man I feel reborn, my clothes are tethered, but my heart is clean, I fill my lungs as I breathe it in”, whereas ‘Back on the Road’ came to light during a long motorcycle trip through Vietnam and ‘Capital Blues’, written whilst working in Egypt, takes a stark look at the country’s poor living conditions.

Elsewhere, weaving its way onto other topics, Edwards’ interest in fictitious stories created a grim twist for ‘The Gambler’ while, closer to home, ‘Beth’s Song’ pays homage to a very much non-fictitious appreciation for the solidarity and trueness of his wife. There’s also hope for the underdog as Edwards explains, “Don’t let the bastards get you down, they’ll try to break you and bring your spirits down, but their cold and harsh demeanour will soon come back around, so don’t let the bastards get you down”.

Twisted by the genres of folk, blues and Americana, Keep on Running is due for release on May 22 on Joe’s own Tiny Mountain Records imprint and as with the songs, Joe took a hands-on personal approach to the creation of the album and all its contents, having also designed and illustrated the artwork, and filmed and directed the music videos, alongside his wife Beth Edwards.

01. Beth’s Song
02. Capital Blues
03. Fears
04. Cross the Line
05. The Gambler
06. Trouble
07. Don’t Let the Bastards Get You Down
08. Keep on Running
09. Driving Home
10. Back on the Road
11. Mine oh Mine* ** *

All songs written by Joe Edwards
* ** *
includes single use of explicit language
Tracks 9 & 10 are CD & DL only

Website: Joe Edwards

photo by Colin Hawkins