In 1967, following years of songwriting and performing in his home state of Minnesota, Jonathan Edwards and his band headed to Boston to pursue their musical path. A multi-instrumentalist and talented singer-songwriter with an angelic voice, Edwards… Read more
In 1967, following years of songwriting and performing in his home state of Minnesota, Jonathan Edwards and his band headed to Boston to pursue their musical path. A multi-instrumentalist and talented singer-songwriter with an angelic voice, Edwards eventually abandoned the band approach, rented a van and a small PA system and began traveling around New England solo, developing a dedicated following of his own.
He began landing opening slots for the likes of the Allman Brothers and eventually landed a contract with their label, Capricorn Records, which would soon become the epicenter label of the Southern Rock movement in the early 1970s. Edwards' self titled debut album soon became a hit, thanks in no small part to his song "Sunshine," one of the most happy-go-lucky protest songs ever written. With the Vietnam War and Richard Nixon as his most prominent targets, this song struck a nerve and soon became a Top 10 hit, earning Edwards a gold record in 1971.
Following his initial success, Edwards relocated to a more rural environment and settled into farm life in Western Massachusetts. His second album, Honky-Tonk Stardust Cowboy reflected this change, veering in a distinctly more country-flavored direction, which he would continue to pursue in the years to come. Following several years of one-nighters, Edwards gathered his musician friends together for an energetic live album, followed by session work for an old friend, Emmylou Harris.
His work with Harris led to a deal with her label and two albums produced by Harris' husband, Brian Ahern. The second of these, Rockin' Chair, was released in 1976 to enthusiastic acclaim and contained some of his strongest writing to date. The album sessions hosted a who's who of the California Country Rock elite, including members of Harris' Hot Band and featured impressive musicianship and flawless singing and harmonies. Rockin' Chair remains to this day one of the finest examples of Country Rock and other than his debut, possibly his most beloved album.
Edwards only tours and records occasionally today, but his music is still is as relevant and enjoyable as ever.