Kathleen Edwards in Austin – 9/13/11
I was delighted when I found out that Kathleen Edwards would be playing in Austin, TX mere hours after I arrived back in this hot town. Her Asking for Flowers is one of my very favorite albums of recent years, and her blog posts have been filled with talk of her coming record for quite a long time. I’ve been dying to hear it. Here was my chance to get a taste of what the “new direction” she’s has been hinting at is all about.
Opening for Bon Iver definitely seemed like a new direction in and of itself. And, playing one of Austin’s large concert halls was new, too. I have only seen Kathleen in small clubs and one medium sized venue (Portland, OR’s Aladdin Theater where she played with John Doe in an excellent and raucous show). Fair readers, you may not get to hear it, but it has been said, not uncommonly, that yours truly swears like a sailor. I am here to tell you: Kathleen – only more so. Fancy concert hall… definitely different. Well, she did in fact tell the audience f*** you, apologizing for being rude and claiming that for a Canadian like herself that really means hey-how-are-you. Ahem.
On this tour, she was accompanied by long time collaborator Jim Bryson, and another guitar player, a tall drink of water whose name I failed to catch (anyone?). Spinning a layered, kind of more ethereal sound, they played a mix of new songs and those off Kathleen’s prior releases. Included was Wapusk, the first song released from the forthcoming record. Beautiful and fragile, it still sounds exactly like Kathleen to the likes of me. Check it out. Also, here’s is an interview she did recently with the Dallas Observer, heavy on talk about the record, her partnership with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, and wanting to get out of the singer songwriter, americana “pigeon hole”. I think I will love it, too.Different, but not so different.