The story behind Dallas native Edmondson's first recording is something of a do-it-yourself legend. At age 21, Edmondson says he "looked on the back of a lot of records" to find a producer. It was ballsy: He saw where the hits were coming from, recorded seven or eight songs of his own, and mailed them straight to Lloyd Maines, who has worked with Texas musicians such as Ray Wiley Hubbard andWayne Hancock.
But Maines must've heard something he liked: He agreed to work with Edmondson on 2001's Southland and again on 2002's And the Band Plays On, the record that launched Edmondson into a relentless touring schedule and took him from "playing crappy little bars with 50 people to venues that seat 400-500."
Today, his music defies categorization. It's loosely lumped into the genre of "Texas music" by virtue of his first single, the Americana staple "$50 and a Flask of Crown" off 2001's Southland. But his current single, "The Echo (Maybe Tonight)" from 2007's Lost Boy, features a Tom Waits-y growl around a series of intricate word-pictures that invoke Springsteen.
It's different, but it's helped earn him a loyal following—and not just in Dallas, or in country venues. Edmondson's successfully ventured to the Midwest and the East Coast, playing in casinos and rock clubs as well as the kicker bars. But, tonight, he's just happy to be playing back at home.
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