LET YOUR HAIR DOWN KATHLEEN EDWARDS
(and her brilliant playaz)
w/ Hannah Georgas
First of all, on the whole, when Kathleen Edwards and her band came onto the Glee Club stage, they were a lot thinner than I'd imagined they would be. It made me wonder who exactly is eating all the food on the tour bus. You would too. Oh and the bass player. Shoe-in for Dustin Hoffman's Edward Bunker role in the remake of Straight Time.
They opened with Empty Threat from the new Rounder Records Voyageur album. Oh wow, that jaunty refrain, "I'm moving to America..." Might be an empty threat in Canada, but when you're in Birmingham it seems like a dream that probably won't ever come true. Whatever. Kathleen Edwards presence and the immense power of her band transported every one of us. It has to be said they are fucking brilliant from the get go. Edwards' musicians are singularly charismatic. The drummer, he does that thing where it looks like he has all day to plot and scheme and embellish and leave things out. Do you ever watch them, drummers, the lesser ones all hurried, harried spoilers? Not Kathleen Edwards guy. And what a neck he has.
There were no low points to the glee club performance, but there were many, many highs and the intensity rarely let up, maybe momentarily for the superlative and seemingly slight Sidecars, oh that and the tale of a trip to a Birmingham nail salon. I got my breath back. Loved that, her nails Edwards mentioned, now sounded on her fretboard like tiny children playing on the stairs. If Kathleen Edwards put a foot wrong, it's surely in having her nails done in Birmingham. Was it a Groupon thing? It's expensive here, vs going to America. I wonder if she's tried the fish pedicure. Popular in town.
Anyway. Soft Place to Land - totally stunning. Pink Champagne accompanied by an explanation of sorts. But so intense I almost had to leave the room. Man I was stressed.
A word about the guitarist Gordo. That guy. The epitome of cool I'd have to say. His guitar voiceings give every song so much, but never too much. And he even had a special way with guitar straps. Really. Like he wasn't untidy with them.
So at the very end, after I'd waited 10 years and all night to hear Kathleen Edwards sing 'The Six O'Clock News' after all that time, somehow even now, this epic, poppy alt-country-rock song of such tremendous disaster left everyone leaving with a smile on their face.
More than you could wish for then, but of course I am always going to wish for more. I wish Kathleen Edwards had let her hair down.
To get a sense of how beautiful this all was, check out this video recorded for cbc on youtube.