December 2, 2011

Bleu Edmondson ~ Unplugged and Brutally Honest

To see a Bleu Edmondson Band show has been called anything from a revival, to perfection, to just plain loud.  To see the man by himself with nothing but a guitar and baseball hat to hide behind is to see into his soul.  And the road has had its way with that soul, but it seems to have opened up the creative process for a very talented and genuine artist.
Bleu Edmondson seems to have two ways of writing; one, with intricate storytelling using characters to express the things he sees and hears, and two, just laying his heart on the line and letting the chips fall where they may.  He sings with all he has; he doesn’t leave much room for thought on where he stands, and he is unabashed in his search for the meaning of life or just a good time.

 To hear the stories that lead to becoming songs is what makes acoustic shows so special.  Bleu got his start by working these same types of events burning up the blacktop between College Station and Dallas, and probably just about anywhere else that would have him.  He can seem uneasy and uncomfortable when offstage and surrounded by others, but it is the stage that seems to be his sanctuary and where he truly belongs.  He can show the nervousness of a new kid in school and hide behind his pulled-too-low-to-notice-me baseball hat, and that’s too bad.  He has the charisma of a natural born leader, the charm of a salesman, and the feel of someone important when he walks on stage.  He was born to be a performer and now has the years of experience to fulfill his pedigree. 
So whether it is a full band show or just a man and his guitar, go check Bleu Edmondson and get ready to not just hear the music, but feel it.

Before the Holiday season got into full swing, we had a chance to see Bleu perform at the Firehouse Saloon here in Houston.  Here are some of the songs he played and a few funny stories to go with them.

-“Not Afraid to be Alone” -- but “scared to death of being lonely”.  Great play on words.
-“Finger on the Trigger” -- a song written by Brandon Jenkins also was a video for Bleu on CMT.  Still to this day I wonder if all the people singing and cheering along actually listen to the lyrics.
-“American Saint” -- story telling at its best and paints such a broad stroked picture of life in West Texas.
-“Good Thing” -- written by Matt Powell and tells the (sometimes) heart wrenching story of loves both won and lost...both eloquent and real at the same time.
-“Blood Red Lincoln” -- 1st and only number 1 song
-“Back to You” -- sounds like his version of a love song.
-“Can’t Run from you Baby”?!? -- Bleu has a new album coming out and apparently this time it was a bit of a departure from “getting drunk and waking up the next day and saying WTF, a song about fire trucks?”  Sounds like it will easily be a staple of the set list.
-“Jesus is Crying” -- “freedom is a hard luck drug and I’m a strung out fiend” Wow.
-“Laughing Right out Loud” -- Only 21 when he wrote this song and though he has played it and numerous other songs for years, he has a tendency to forget the lyrics from time to time and that is part of his charm. 
-“Resurrection” -- Quite possibly the only song you’ll hear that will make “making love in a bathroom stall” sound sexy.  He and Wade Bowen wrote this together and it’s amazing to hear both of them play it and hear how different they sound.  Both are amazing and the song actually has a bigger message that unfortunately gets lost in the before mentioned lyric.
-“$50 Dollars and a Flask of Crown” -- Another song written by Matt Powell that first put Bleu on the map and is still probably his calling card (for better or worse).
-“Dallas” -- A Jimmie Gilmore cover that has been in the set list for many, many years and happens to be Bleu’s hometown.
-“The Band Plays On” -- Title track to second album and seems to be hodgepodge of different people from different cities as seen through the eyes of a performer.
-“Just a little bit Crazy” -- Just how a man feels after the heartache sets in.
-“Last Last Time” --   My personal favorite and said to be written in the ghetto of Dallas.
-“Highway Patrolman” -- A Springsteen cover that I believe I heard Bleu say before was his favorite to play.  Bruce has been/is a huge influence on many artists here in Texas (and the world) and it is pretty typical to hear at least one song by the Boss played excellently by Bleu.
-“Traveling Man” -- Just a lonely man in search of a beer, who can’t relate?
-“The Echo” --  Bleu’s self-anointed love song.  Though the word love never appears. 

No comments:

Post a Comment