by Sheldon Birnie
If you’re at all familiar with the roots scene in Winnipeg, you’ve no doubt come across the JD Edwards Band at some point in your travels. A tight band, killer songs, and pipes on JD himself that wouldn’t be out of place in Memphis, Tennessee combine for a live experience that is tried, tested, and true. After years of hard work and hundreds of gigs, the boys are set to take the Winnipeg Folk Fest by storm next week. Amidst the mud, the blood, and the beers at Dauphin’s Countryfest last week, JD Edwards Band took some time off to talk On The Record with Stylus about the Winnipeg Folk Festival, and their plans beyond next weekend.
Stylus: What makes you guys so excited to play the Winnipeg Folk Fest?
JD Edwards (vocals & guitar): I’m extremely excited to be playing Winnipeg Folk Fest. We’ve been going to this festival for years and years and years and years. Over the past five or six years, as the band has been evolving and growing, we’ve always strived to maybe one day play the festival. And here we are. We’re super excited for it, with the 40th anniversary, we’re extremely honoured to be a part of it.
Stylus: When was the first time you guys went to Winnipeg Folk Festival?
Matt Robins (guitar): I was 14 years of age. I still had an air of innocence about me, instantly removed.
Jesse Ives (bass): My first time, I was 18. I had quit a job and then just.
MR: I’m pretty sure I quit that job for you over the phone!
JI: Yeah, it was definitely a phone conversation. “I don’t think I’m going to make it in this weekend…” Then I went to Folk Fest and it changed my life.
Stylus: What other acts are you guys excited about checking out?
Jake Bell (drums): All the Manitoba acts. Oh My Darling, Nathan Rogers… I guess…
Band: [lots of laughs – ed. note: JD also performs in Dry Bones with Nathan Rogers and Leonard Podoluk.]
JB: Our buddy Del Barber. He’ll tell some good stories.
JDE: I’m looking forward to meeting, or hopefully jamming, with Martin Sexton.
JB: We’re doing the Friday night jam at the hotel, and he comes in that night.
JDE: So hopefully that works out.
Stylus: And this is the first time you guys have played the festival?
JDE: This is the first time the JD Edwards Band has played the Folk Festival. Jake has played it before with Burnt, I played it last year with Dry Bones. I’m not sure if Alex [Campbell, keyboards] has played it before…
MR: We’ve been patrons up to this point. So we’re excited.
Stylus: So what does the rest of the summer look like for you guys?
MR: We’re doing a music video.
JDE: Yeah, we’re doing a music video with the Proctor Brothers. Same guys who did the JP Hoe video that’s up for the WCMAs. We’ve got some festivals coming up, going to Ontario to play Summer Folk. Headed to Toronto to play Younge & Dundas Square, that’s big for us.
JB: We’re eventually going to record.
MR: Harvest Moon.
JDE: And Harvest Moon, hopefully. We’re doing a western Canadian tour in October, and hopefully an eastern one in November. Then through December, January, and February work on a new record, which we’ll hopefully have together by spring. Then we’ll be starting all over.
MR: Most importantly, though, we’re going to get in shape this year.
Make sure to check the boys in the JD Edwards Band out at the 40th annual Winnipeg Folk Festival. They’re performing at Big Blue Stem Friday at 12:45 and Spruce Hollow at 4:15, Saturday at Green Ash 4:15, and finally Sunday Shady Grove at 1:00 before taking to the Main Stage at 8:25pm.