Edmondson performs, receives rave reviews

November 10, 2010

by Naomi Allison, Staff Reporter

When country crooner Bleu Edmondson first stepped onto the stage at Dawghouse Sports Bar and Grill dressed in a bright red hat, black Adidas jacket, sneakers, a scruffy pair of light blue denim jeans and a gangly brown beard, I didn’t expect much. However, as the lights dimmed, Edmondson’s two-hour performance exceeded my expectations. Although he isn’t the best singer and doesn’t have Frank Sinatra vocals, Edmondson is a superb live artist.

The raw emotion and energy he exudes on stage, the intimate connection he establishes with his audience and his laid-back personality are what make his performance the most powerful. 

His voice is soulful, passionate and contains a scratchier, more vulnerable quality live than while listening to songs from his newest album, “The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be.”

Edmondson’s music was creative, genuine and rebelled against the stereotypical country singer as he screeched out songs such as “Last Call” and “Jesus” that walked the line between country, rock, pop and rhythm and blues.

 “If Bruce Springsteen, Waylon Jennings and Wilson Nelly had a baby, it would be us,” he said.

 His music gave the audience a feeling that he just happened to be traveling through Ruston, decided to hop off the tour bus and step to the microphone to give a concert to his close friends and family. These feelings were only amplified as he spoke with the audience between songs, drank ice-cold whiskey with them and took additional song requests. 

His straightforward personality added resonance and seemed to punctuate songs such as “Resurrection,” “Back to You,” “Blood Red” and “Bring it on Home,” which slowed down the tempo and is what Edmondson called “baby-making music.”

Edmondson, who started recording music at the age of 19, said when he first started his career he was devastated by the music industry’s harsh criticism, but learned to develop a thicker skin and cling to his identity as he matured.

 “In this industry, music is very subjective,” he said. “You’re asking for people to judge you for something you consider personal or is coming straight from your heart. However, you have to persevere and know the story you’re telling is going to resonate within someone.” 

Edmondson said his greatest lesson was realizing that some people weren’t going to respond positively to his music. 

“You can’t please people all the time, so enjoy the ride,” he said. “Life’s too short to worry about it.”

Edmondson said while performing he is always cognizant of keeping people entertained. 

These actions were only highlighted as his band members — drummer Anthony Castillo, keyboardist and saxophonist Matt Temple, lead guitarist Carson Alexander and bass guitarist Matt Morris — jumped up and down and the audience mouthed lyrics and swayed to the beat back and forth like a pendulum.

Edmondson said the greatest advice he could give to students who want to start their own band is to be themselves, tell the truth and surround themselves with positive people.

“Be honest in the way you write,” he said. “Trust yourself, because it isn’t going to be an easy journey. Make sure you surround yourself with people who have good characters and be a damn good storyteller. It’s not rocket science. It’s just three chords and a prayer.”

E-mail comments to nsa008@latech.edu.