One of the things which puts the modern world into perspective, one where isolation and travel restrictions due the current health concerns and an uncertain future for touring artists due to certain political choices, is Joe Edwards‘ back story. A performing musician from a young age around his Devizes hometown (the town of my birth too, as it happens) it was whilst touring Europe as drummer for Australian folk-rockers The Wishing Well, that his own brand of Americana infused music took shape. And if that isn’t an anecdote which shows us just how small the world really is, especially the musical one, I don’t know what is. Let’s hope that such backstories and bios are not a thing of the past.
Keep On Running is a collection of tales of love, loss, longing and life…often on the road… of freedom, especially the freedom that comes from the vagabond life of the working musician, of imagined scenarios and lived experiences, truth as expressed through imaginative story telling and poignant slices of real world wisdom wrapped up in poetic eloquence.
It is an album of hushed tones and restraint, even a song with such a punk slogan title as Don’t Let The Bastards Get You Down does its work as a piece of whispered, intimate advice and by being a sonic shoulder to cry on. It is also an album which displays a love of American blues but here it is generally spliced with folky understatement to create a more drifting and soulful feeling.
Cross The Line is a lesson in groovesome restraint, like hearing the distant rumble of thunder and waiting for the flash of lightening which never comes, Driving Home is a gorgeously spacious, loose and relaxed ballad, with a touch of Damien Rice about it and the title track shows that when a bit of understated boogie and more upbeat vibes are called for, Joe Edwards is able to deliver that too.
Keep on Running is a love letter to life, to getting out there and living it to the full and it will perhaps remind many of us that we haven’t been doing enough of that of late.