Jonathan Edwards - vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica; Stuart Schulman - bass, fiddle; Ken White - keyboards, bass; Herb Pedersen - banjo, vocals; Stephen Geyer - electric guitar; Tom Staley - drums
This show, part of six Bottom Line performances recorded for the King Biscuit Flower Hour, marked the return to live performing by Jonathan Edwards. Ten years earlier, Edwards had been a contemporary of James Taylor, Cat Stevens, and other folk rockers, but when he started moving in a more country direction, Atlantic Records dropped him and he retreated from the music business.
At the urging of Emmylou Harris, he decided to return to writing, recording, and performing, and in 1977 took to the road with a band stacked heavily with players from Harris' band. There is varied collection of material performed at this show, balancing newer songs with classic tunes from his early albums. He does a memorable version of the Jesse Colin Young song "Sugar Babe," and a poignant read of "Hearts Overflowing." After his version of "I Just Want To Be Number One On Your Hit Parade of Love," a lengthy harmonica solo leads the audience into "Shanty," the unofficial theme for hardcore pot smokers.
Jonathan Edwards had become a music star a decade earlier when Atlantic Records signed him to break into the success of the burgeoning singer-songwriter movement. These recordings came five years after Edwards had his first commercial breakthrough with the pop single "Sunshine" in 1972. He enjoyed success for a number of years in the same Southern California folk rock scene that was hugely popular at that time.
Edwards benefited from an exceptional band on this '77 tour. Made up of members of Emmylou Harris' Hot Band, the musicianship on these recordings is exceptional, especially the piano work of Ken White and the bass playing of Mark Walsh. Two of the members of his band, guitarist Jeff Golub and vocalist Cheryl Wheeler, have gone on to be successful recording artists in their own right. Edwards only tours and records occasionally today, but his music is still as relevant and enjoyable as ever.