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Edith Wallace in Concert
Friday, February 19, 2016, 8pm
Edith Wallace celebrates the launch of her new double album, First Bloom, with an intimate concert that showcases her many gifts as a singer-songwriter. It’s a rare performer who can connect the way Edith does with her listeners, combining superlative musicianship with raw emotional courage, warm and wide-open honesty, and belly-laugh-inducing humour. Being at an Edith Wallace concert is like taking a seat at her kitchen table, having a cup of tea and talking about life; you’ll laugh and cry (sometimes both at once), listen with your whole heart, and walk away a little wiser. Edith’s music is beautiful, challenging, wise, hilarious – and ultimately full of joy.
First Bloom is not, as the title might suggest, a debut album. In fact, it is Edith Wallace’s fourth release…but it chronicles a new beginning in many other ways. The songs that appear on First Bloom were written in the aftermath of an abrupt, profoundly life-changing break-up. The album is the story of a woman reclaiming herself, unfolding into a new (terrifying, exciting) sense of her own freedom and strength. It’s about emphatically notfitting into the boxes that society sets out for middle-aged women; about coming into one’s own and truly blossoming for the first time, several decades into adulthood.
The journey to First Bloom was literal as well as metaphorical. In April 2014, reeling from the drastic change that had overtaken her life, Edith got into her tiny blue Toyota and headed out from Vancouver on a 15,000-kilometre solo road trip. She drove through Alberta and Saskatchewan, and continued south of the border through Montana, Wyoming, Iowa, Tennessee, North Carolina and Arkansas…and then kept on going, all the way back home (joined on the last leg by her daughter Lindsey). She performed in house concerts and church halls everywhere she went, and as she travelled from town to town, she wrote song after song behind the wheel, memorizing lyrics and melodies as she went so that she could transcribe them later.
When it came time to go into the recording studio, she had over 50 songs to choose from. With long-time friend and trusted colleague Michael Creber in the producer’s chair, First Bloom took shape. “It was amazing,” Edith says, “how so many of the broken-hearted songs of betrayal and anger and grief eventually got cut, and replaced by newer ones about healing, and hope, and learning new things. I’m still mourning, still scared and vulnerable – but life does go on. I’ve realized that it’s possible to be sad and joyous at the same time; more than that, it’s okay to be both.”
A music industry colleague once said of Edith: “Sometimes you’ve got to bury your ego and acknowledge that there’s someone undiscovered out there who is so talented and deserving that it’s futile to compare her talent to yours —you just get out of the way and alert everyone who needs to hear her.” Edith’s songs have never been easily categorized; they’re a little bit folk, a little bit pop, a little bit adult contemporary…but there are common threads: Edith’s passionate, memorable voice, and her compelling ability to find truth, beauty and humour in the travails of every-day life. All this is true of First Bloom, with an added helping of personal courage, and hard-won clarity of artistic vision. It’s a double album, a wealth of stories expressed in 25 songs that will reach out and lift the spirits of all who listen.
Edith will launch First Bloom at Evergreen on Friday evening, Feb 19th, accompanying herself on guitar, banjo, piano and Appalachian dulcimer, and supported by an A-list band: musical director and album producer Michael Creber (piano), Jeff Scroggins (banjo & guitjo), Finn Manniche (cello & guitar) and Nathan Aswell (NS Stick & vocals). www.edithwallacemusic.com