Writing as someone from the South–West of England, there are musical motifs all over these songs that just seem to sum up the sound of the South. Admittedly I’m probably the least equipped to explore the music fully but to my ears, half a world away, that is what that part of America sounds like in my head. The borrowed sounds of the Celtic fiddle, the wailing harmonica, and the idiosyncratic sound of the vocal crescendos on the opening of Calling Me. It is also the sound of being restless in a big country, Heading For the Coast being an anthem for moving on physically, whilst Sail On deals with the same emotional upheaval.
Whilst we are sold this image of Nashville and the glitz of the country music traditions heightened to Hollywood production levels, in my mind, the real soul of America lies in music such as is found here, modern songwriters revelling in ancient folk traditions, the New World echoes of an Old World memory, contemporary songwriters exploring their roots via timeless musical sources. A place where melancholy and optimism, the past and the future, wistful reflections and new directions are all woven into a tapestry of sound and thoughts.
Paul Simon famously sang of finding America counting cars on the Jersey Turnpike or on long bus rides. His was a physical journey compared with Edwards’s more emotive and emotional one but may one day be seen as just as necessary a document of the modern American experience as seen from afar.