Chris Edwards is a singer and songwriter – a ‘Texas folk artist’. Growing up in East Texas around old-time string-band music and bluegrass that his grandparents loved to listen to and play led Chris’ to playing the guitar, mandolin, harmonica and several percussion instruments.
As a teenager, Chris got into rock and roll, particularly punk and the then nascent ‘grunge‘ rock. It wasn’t until he was living in Nacogdoches to attend college at Stephen F. Austin University that Chris rediscovered acoustic folk and old-time country music, mostly through local musician buddies.
That’s when he began writing songs and playing at open mike nights around town. But it wasn’t until the last couple of years that Chris really became serious about songwriting and honing his act as a performer.
The boyishly handsome songwriter honed in on a sound that blends the old-timey picking style he grew up listening to with a bit of blues and edgy lyrics that smack of blue-collar strife and ennui.
In 2008, Chris Edwards signed with a European label that released his home-recorded ‘first’ album “Long Hard Ride,” which he claims to be “lo-fi alternative country/folk”. The album has drawn some attention in Americana songwriting circles and among European folk fans.
More Interview Excerpts:
CHRIS EDWARDS: I had taken that picture in an open, empty apartment that was next door to mine. I just thought it’d be a cool photo and had no intention, originally, of using it as the cover art. But when I was combing through tons of stock images and what-not, I went back to this pic, when I was just flipping through some of the random shots I’d taken with my then-new camera. I like the whole ‘lonesome troubadour‘ feel of the image. It seemed to really fit and speak a few words about the state of the singer/songwriter in today’s pop culture – that of a lonesome, archaic figure shoved to the side or pushed into the corner…and is given the once-over for the Kanyes and Nickelbacks of the world.
SPORKETTE: As a songwriter, what are “touchstone subjects” and why are you drawn to write lyrics about them?
CHRIS EDWARDS: Well, I tend to go for more of a universal appeal, over all, in my writing these days. When I first started out, I was writing a lot of ridiculous, wannabe-poetic lyrics that were more shadowy, vague and pretentious than anything. I was reading a lot of Faulkner and trying to do what he was doing with language, with lyrics, and falling flat on my face. It took a while to develop a valid voice as a songwriter.
I guess, for me, the touchstone subjects I really am drawn toward are love, loss and nature. I’m not very adept, socially, but I’m always taking notes on people…whether I’m at a bar or at the grocery store, I file away the odd phrase I hear in a passing conversation or the look I see on someone’s face. It’s all potential material. I’m also very fond of story songs. I haven’t written a lot of them, but I love crafting narratives in a song. It’s very challenging to me. That’s one of the things I respect the most about people – like Steve Earle and the late, great Townes Van Zandt – is their strengths as storytellers. I hope to be a better storyteller with my lyrics one day.
Singer and songwriter based out of Nacogdoches, Texas. Besides being a Texas folk artist, open to engagements, Chris pitches his songs, so if seeking a performer or lyrics, be sure to visit his sites, listen to his tracks and feel free to contact him.