The career of Jonathan Edwards is approaching the 50 year mark. It began during the mid-sixties and quickly progressed as a member of the group Sugar Creek. Leaving the band, during the early 1970s, he released his self-titled debut album. It contained the track “Sunshine,” which would become his signature song. He has been recording, doing session work, and touring ever since.
My Love Will Keep is his first studio album in over a dozen years. He has now joined such artists as Tom Rush, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Jesse Winchester, David Bromberg, Roger McGuinn, and Donovan, who have re-emerged with new albums on the Appleseed Label after long absences.
His latest release does not break any new musical ground but covers the old very well. Whether one of his five new original compositions or one of the seven cover songs, they fall into his comfort zone of gentle folk and pop.
While his original material can all be considered to be typical Jonathan Edwards’s material, he varies the tempos and topics. “How Long” is an up-tempo return to his bluegrass roots. “Johnny Blue Horizon” is a heartfelt tribute about nature for his deceased friend John Denver. “Crazy Texas Woman” looks back to his time in Austin, Texas, and has a nice bluesy feel to it. He leads the way with some fine harmonica playing. “Surround” is a mellow song about a lazy summer day. “Lightkeeper” was written for the film, The Lightkeepers. It is a well-constructed song with vivid imagery.
The most creative and interesting track is his cover of the classic Beatles tune, “She Loves You.” It was originally a straight forward rocker, but Edwards slows it down into wistful and sensitive ballad.
He moves back to his social awareness past with several tracks. “Everybody Works In China” is a twenty year old song about unemployment and jobs moving out of the country. He gives it a gentle work-out, as the song remains relevant today. “Sailor’s Prayer” returns him to environmental issues of what humanity and the planet Earth face in the future. “This Island Earth “ is an old a cappella song by The Nylons. Edwards adds some basic instrumental background but retains the harmonies on these lyrics of the interconnectedness of people and the environment.
My Love Will Keep is a thoughtful experience for a summer day, when a long lost friend comes to visit. It is a well-produced album and the songs fit his style well. It all adds up to a nice addition to his catalogue of music.