Jonathan Edwards leads busy, busy life

By MIKE CHAIKEN

EDITIONS EDITOR

Ask Jonathan Edwards what he’s been up to lately and he’s pretty straight forward.

“Working and writing,” said Edwards.

Some of that working is performing live, as he is going to be doing Friday night at the Infinity Hall in Norfolk.

Some of it is editing a DVD that captured a concert celebrating the 50th birthday of his career, which featured a slew of guest stars.

Some of it is writing new music, which eventually will end up on a new CD.

And there has been a lot of writing as Edwards works on finally finishing a planned memoir.

“Life is full and busy,” said Edwards. “I’m feeling good. My voice is pretty good. My energy is positive and up. I’m going forward and being creative.”

Edwards said he is about halfway through the memoir, which he has been working on for years. He said he is finally getting around to pulling it together into an organized form.

“It’s difficult,” said Edwards of looking back on his life and writing about it. “It’s way more difficult than I thought.”

“It’s painful,” said Edwards, “but cathartic.”

People typically know performers by their stage persona, said Edwards. But there often is more to that persona, said Edwards.

“I’ve got a lot of stories to tell,” said Edwards. “It makes for a pretty interesting yarn.”

As for new music, Edwards said, “I’ve a lot more memories than a future.”

“That’s an important realization and that informs my songwriting,” said Edwards, who has been performing for 50 years now. “I wrote a song, ’50 Years,’ which sums up how grateful I am (for my career).”

Last November, Edwards performed a special concert at the Infinity Hall in Hartford to celebrate his 50th anniversary of performing. He sent out invitations to his musical friends to join him and the response was overwhelming with artists such as Livingston Taylor, Jon Pousette-Dart, Rex Fowler of Aztec Two Step, and more saying yes to the invite.

“It was a special evening and a precious performance,” said Edwards, who was even joined on stage by his three daughters.

Given the friends expected, Edwards said plans were made to make a DVD of the evening. Edwards said he is in the midst of final preparations of the DVD, which will include 18 songs. “We’ve been trying to edit it,” said Edwards. “It’s quite a bit of work.”

However, Edwards said, the DVD already has presold 1,000 copies. “That’s pretty good,” said Edwards.

“I can’t wait for the final product,” said Edwards.

Although he still records, Edwards said live performances are his preference. He likes having the opportunity engage an audience in a live setting.

Live, said Edwards, offers a “certain immediacy you can’t get in the studio.”

You end up standing in front of a group of people asking themselves, “What have you got for me?”

“It’s intimidating,” said Edwards, but, it’s also “inspiring and energizing.’

Given a career that spans 50 years, Edwards said his set list is often sketched out ahead of time but he also leaves room for indulging in musical whims.

“I like to do songs people know,” said Edwards, “and sometimes I play something people haven’t heard in a while.”

And, he said, “Sometimes we’ll even play a song we just heard on the radio.”

“We like to keep it spontaneous,” said Edward. “We try to make it a musical experience that’s different from listening to something in a recording.”

Jonathan Edwards performs at Infinity Hall, Route 44, Norfolk on Friday, April 27. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m. Tickets run $40 to $55.

For more information, go to www.InfinityHall.com or www.JonathanEdwards.net

Jonathan Edwards performs Friday at the Infinity Hall in Norfolk.

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