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Kenny Edwards is one of the newest faces on the music scene and already making a decided chart presence. His first CD, I Need Me a Woman With Some Food Stamps was released in June 2003 and, already, he is on the Rhythm and Soul charts in Mobile, AL, Pensacola and Panama City, Fl and rising fast in others.
There are a lot of ways to get from Point A to Point B. Kenny Edwards took a circular route to musical performance.
Let’s go back to Point A and meet Kenny Edwards. Born in Gretna, LA, he founded a band after his father (a horn player who once sat in with Louis Armstrong) purchased drums for Kenny. With typical aplomb, he says the band, “didn’t go anywhere.” A year or so later, when he was around 14 years old, he spent a year in New York with relatives. While there, he got to attend a show at the famed Apollo Theatre. Even now, the excitement of that show is still with him. He says there were 20 stars there, but “Guitar Red was the one who caught my eye. Had my heart in a thrill.” He wanted and still wants to play guitar. Returning to Gretna, his focus soon changed to football but the yearning for musical expression remained. Years passed. He married, raised children and became a trucking professional. A few years ago, following a move to Mobile, AL, a city with a rich musical history, he began to think seriously about a musical career. While attending a David Brinston concert, it just clicked for him. He says he knew that with a little work he could be singing. Kenny says, “ I had a talk with the man upstairs.” Maybe there was some divine intervention because he began meeting the people who would get his fledgling career started. Among them were singer Frank Mendenhall, whom he views as a positive influence in music and in life and Master Richey, owner of the Purple Lounge who told him he could sing there anytime. Richey offered the use of his club and his PA system for rehearsals and performance experience. From this point, things began to move quickly. Kenny met promoter Bessie Stokes, who introduced him to Carl Marshall (who needs no introduction). “Carl saw something in me” says Kenny. Soon he was doing some openings for Carl as the two continued to develop their professional relationship. From their continuing relationship has come I Need Me A Woman With Some Food Stamps, with music by Carl Marshall and lyrics shared by the two. The track “Bring Some to Get Some” was written after Kenny used the expression, ‘gotta’ bring some to get some’ in conversation with Carl.
When asked how does he feel about his first venture, Edwards says, “The only way I could feel better is if there were two of me.”
He genuinely enjoys being around music, seeing and supporting other artists. He pays honor to all the musicians who have given so much to their craft. From idols Fats Domino and Smokey Robinson to Southern soul musicians Carl Marshall, Jeff Floyd and Nathaniel Kimble, he salutes class acts. He says Carl Marshall is excellent at mentoring him in the ups and downs of the music business. Ever gracious, he credits Mike Austin of Team Airplay for guiding the fast climb up the charts.
In conversation with Edwards, it’s quickly obvious that he brings a keen understanding of life to his music. He’s developed observational skills, empathy and a giving heart along the way. Indeed, it is sometimes difficult to have him discuss his musical career because he’d rather discuss talents he admires. “I believe in promoting happiness and peace of mind.” Who can quarrel with that? Clearly he brings an extra dimension to his music. He is guided by support for and interest in others. Speaking of
visitors, he says, “whoever walks into my home is a part of my home and my family. I don’t have company.”
Kinda’ nice to know, isn’t it? Kenny Edwards is out there having the time of his life, putting his unmistakable stamp on Southern soul. Stuck to his dream. Never shirked his responsibility. He is who he is. Makes it possible for others to be who they are. With his combination of character, humor, talent and charm, I’d say Kenny Edwards will be topping charts for a long, long time.
I Need Me A Woman With Some Food Stamps, recorded at TSCM Recording Studio in Meridian, MS, was produced by Carl Marshall of Gifft Records and is distributed by Gonzalez Music. All the songs show the witty, conversational side of Kenny Edwards. Listening to his music is like having an up close and personal relationship with a man who can keep you laughing … and loving. Listen to “Let’s Buss it Baby” to understand the ‘we are in this together’ aspect of love. Laugh with him as he explains his need for a “woman with food stamps.” Delight in the sincerity of “More Than Enough For Me.” Better yet. Listen to all selections. Again. And again.
© 2011 KENNY EDWARDS