When Ottawa’s Kathleen Edwards finally released her new album Total Freedom last fall (after an eight-year hiatus during which she became the proprietor of a truly lovely coffee shop in Stittsville) it made my month. I watched the livestream of her album release, filmed inside Quitters Coffee, and it sparked my desire to see her play live again. She always has an engaging, often hilarious stage presence, but when she opens her mouth to sing, you know she’s serious.
So happy to share the @nprmusic tiny desk we recorded earlier this year- it’s the only in-person playing I did with other musicians so far in 2021. Todd & Justin helped me record some acoustic versions of my record, and it felt so good I asked them back. https://t.co/zehtuJwBry
— Kathleen Edwards (@kittythefool) May 19, 2021
This fantastic recording, part of the NPR Tiny Desk (Home) series, was filmed in Nashville, with Kathleen backed up beautifully by Todd Lombardo on guitar and Justin Schipper on dobro. It’s a glorious four-song set, all drawn from the new record: Glenfern, Ashes to Ashes, Who Rescued Who, and Hard on Everyone. The lyrics are by turns sweet, wistful, biting, hopeful, and desperately sad, and her technical skills on that battered Gibson are stronger than ever. A worthy entry into the Tiny Desk canon, this utterly satisfying, bite-sized snack of a concert will leave you hungry for more from the Queen of Quitters.
Watch the full concert in the player below.