Exclusive interview

Bill Edwards

Americana music artist, Bill Edwards!

Where did you grow up?  Our family moved all over the U.S. when I was growing up. But I consider Buffalo, NY my first musical home. That's where I started playing professionally, and where I wrote my first songs. 

What inspired you to get into music? My parents loved folk music and show tunes, and I listened to their records all the time. They bought me a guitar from the Sears Roebuck catalog when I was eleven or so, and I was off to the races. 

Do you write and produce your own music? Yes. I write everything I play these days, and I produce and record in my home studio. I play guitar (acoustic and electric), fiddle, mandolin and dobro. This past year I've dug deeply into virtual instruments, adding drums, bass, strings, pedal steel, even penny whistle! 

What is a songwriting session like for you? 

I'll generally start with a title idea, find a groove for that, and write the chorus first. After many years of writing, I've learned some techniques to avoid painting myself into a corner. So I can finish a song pretty quickly. I generally try not to look at it critically until the next day and then make tweaks, if needed.

What inspires you to create? I've learned over the years that if I wait for inspiration to create, I'll be waiting a long time. So I schedule time with myself specifically for writing, and I always show up on time with a good attitude. Instead of being fearful, I look forward to seeing what happens. 

Are you self taught on guitar, or did you take lessons? I took some classical guitar lessons in my teens, but have learned mostly on my own since then, and from playing in bands with others. I took violin lessons for three years up until the pandemic. 

Do you collaborate with other artists? I have done some co-writing in the past, but mostly I write solo now. 

What is your local americana music scene like? Ann Arbor has a vibrant songwriting community. It's mostly folk and rock-based, though. Americana music is pretty thin on the ground here. But I get to Nashville from time to time to recharge my batteries. 

Tell us about your latest project. Since the pandemic shut everything down, I've continued to write steadily. I come up with about a song a week. I've been producing and recording the best of those, and have 20 new songs with full band tracks available on my site www.edwardsongs.com

What can we expect from you in the future? More songs! I love the idea of albums, so I'm considering packaging some of the new stuff digitally for download, and I may get a few CD's made for when live performance becomes an option again.   

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