Jonathan Edwards - vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica; Michael Walsh - bass; Ken White - keyboards; Jeff Golub - electric guitar; Gerald Cordasco - drums; Cheryl Wheeler - backing vocals
Jonathan Edwards had been away from the music scene for nearly five years when his friend Emmylou Harris convinced him to strap his guitar back on and hit the road. Even though he'd been out of the music business for a few years, he had continued to write for Harris and others. When he did a series of Bottom Line shows in New York in March and April of 1978 (all of which were recorded for the King Biscuit Flower Hour), he was happy to be back and brought a refreshed vibe to his classic songs.
This show is lighter on his older material than some of the others recorded in this series, but there are certain gems, among them "Girl From The Canyon" and the pro-pot anthem, "Shanty." He does a great version of Jesse Colin Young's "Sugar Babe," and presents a funny tale about his woes with the IRS called "Tax Collector."
Jonathan Edwards had become a music star a decade earlier when Atlantic Records signed him to counter the success of artists like James Taylor and Cat Stevens. 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. However, when his label felt they could no longer market his records (which were clearly moving in a more country music direction), he was dropped from Atlantic and soon after dropped out of the music scene. A call from Emmylou Harris put him back on the road and in the studio, and a few years later these recordings were made.
Edwards benefited from an exceptional band on this 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.