Following the set of friend and tour mate, Hannah Georgas, Kathleen took the stage to play for a nearly packed house. Kathleen picked up her acoustic guitar and stepped to the mic with confidence in herself and in her music. Kathleen’s genuine love for performing connected with the audience and a cohesive energy was alive.
The resident sound engineer worked out a few sound issues in the beginning, and the show continued with moderately balanced sound. Kathleen’s smile lit up the room as the audience cheered when she started to play her acoustic guitar to open her set with “Empty Threat”, from Voyageur (2012). At the conclusion of the “Empty Threat”, the audience cheered and Kathleen smiled bigger. “You have to stop, you’re making all the other cities look bad”, Kathleen commented. Her comment only instigated the audience to cheer louder. Kathleen’s facial expressions told as much of the story as the music and lyrics. Full smiles, soft eyes, and winces of pain brought the feelings of the songs to life; the story of each song was felt as if it were your own.
Supporters of Edwards were excited to hear she was playing in Louisville. Matthew, from Cincinnati, drove in to see the show, “I play in a metal band, and Kathleen Edwards is a guilty pleasure of mine.” Kathleen pleased fans with 1 ½ hour set with favorites such as, “Asking for Flowers” and “Lazy Eye”, both from, Asking for Flowers (2008). “Pink Champagne”, “Going to Hell”, and “For the Record” joined the list of songs from Voyageur. Edwards played both acoustic and electric guitar before switching to her violin. Kathleen changes the set list every night, “I like to mix it up”, Kathleen commented following her set.
The band traveling with Kathleen played with the same determination as the lady herself. John Dinsmoreengaged the audience with his bass and dancing, while fellow time keeper, Joel Anderson (drums) used soft cymbals to compliment Kathleen’s soothing voice. At times, the bass drum overpowered the guitar and vocals. Jim Bryson’s (guitar, organ, piano, vibraphone) experience with multiple instruments allowed for unique, crisp keyboard sounds. Bryson stumbled a couple of times changing to guitar, but quickly overcame the transition. Guitarist Gord Tough took on many solos throughout the evening, notably with “Change the Sheets” from Voyageur. Tough’s use of varying pedals expanded his range and played with the knowledge of a seasoned performer.
Kathleen closed her set with “Change the Sheets” from Voyageur, playing the last song with as much veracity as the first. Many were sad to see the show come to an end, yet were happy as they left Headliners, having seen this strong woman sing about life’s trials and triumphs.
Cover photo: Courtesy of Kathleen Edwards