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Arts & Culture 251 views Aug 27, 2020
Interview with Bleu Edmondson

TMM: What was it like working with Lloyd Maines on your "Southland" album? I noticed he not only produced but played on the album as well.

BE:  Yeah, he played everything. He can play about 50 different instruments. 

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It was fun to watch him play. We have a new album coming out in September and Lloyd did that one too.

This time my band played everything on the album except for what Lloyd played. I’m really proud of our new album.

TMM:    I was really impressed with the people that worked on your "Southland" album like Rich Brotherton (Robert Earl Keene), Brendon Anthony (Pat Green), Scott Owen (Roger Creager), and Roger Creager as well as Matt Powell and Brian Rung.

I’ve heard that all of the artists in the Texas Music Movement really help each other out by promoting and performing on the albums.

BE:  Yeah, you know Scott Owen is a good example, he taught me how to play guitar.

You won’t find a better country picker in this scene. I mean there are a lot of good guitar players out there but Scott’s one of the best.

It was just automatic that I brought him in on the "Southland" album. About eight months before I made the record, Matt Powell, Brian Rung and I just ran around together and hung out at each other's shows.

I really learned a lot from those guys. They both are just phenomenal entertainers. They both should be rock stars, it’s unfortunate that they aren’t.

It really is like a family thing, being in the studio together and having fun and out comes the finished product. It’s really cool.

TMM:  It seems that a lot of the new Texas artists are singer/songwriters. You obviously fit into this category.

Does it (songwriting) come naturally or is it something that you really have to work at?

BE:  Well you definitely have to work at it. Hopefully, I will do better at it as I go along. I think, for instance, the stuff on the 2nd record makes the stuff on the 1st record look dumb, and hopefully on the 3rd record, I look back on the first two records and say what was I thinking?

It definitely takes a lot of work, I mean, for example, Matt Powell and Brian Rung, it just seems to come naturally.

They put out a song, and you just say oooh, that’s good. Of course, they’re both phenomenal songwriters.

For me, I guess it came naturally. Whether it’s good or not, that’ just all relative. I just started writing songs one day even before I learned how to play guitar when I was in college. 

TMM:   You have a new album coming out called "The Band Plays On." What can we expect from that album?

BE:  (laughs) It’s a little more rock and has a little more of an edge to it. I wrote a song with Clay Blaker and we did a song together and I did a song with Rusty Wier.

I wrote every song or co-wrote every song with Rusty or Clay except for another Matt Powell song and we did and an old Harry Connick Jr. song.

That’s kind of the gambit, Clay Blaker to Harry Connick Jr. I’m really proud of it and it turned out super great. Lloyd (Maines) was just ecstatic about it.

I and the band are all very proud of it. I don’t know if you can classify it under the Texas sound it’s really different and that’s how I wanted it to be.

On "Southland," I wanted each song to be of a little different genre.

"Live Oak Lullaby" was kind of bluesy, "Travelin’ Man" was more rock, and "What I left Behind" is a country song. We took that to another level on this next record. I think some of the reviews may be like what’s this guy trying to do?

But that’s what I dig. That way you don’t get bored with a record. It’s really dramatic going from one song to the next asking “is this the same record?” 

TMM:  I have to ask you about Coby Wier, he really blew me away at your show at the River Road Icehouse. Has he changed the sound of your music at all since he joined the band?

BE:  Yes, very much so. It wasn’t planned or anything, it just evolved that way. He does so much stuff subconsciously that it changes the dynamic of the band.

I don’t know how to explain it, my band is what makes us what we are. I just happen to be there hanging out.

To me, those guys (the band) are the best out there on the scene. Coby really made the difference when we threw him in the mix. A good difference. I mean, we are more of a rock band and that’s what I like.

I love it when people come up to me and say “I don’t even listen to country music, but I love yall”.

That’s cool as shit, you know. We’re not a country band and we’re not a rock band, but if Greg Allman and Robert Earl Keene had a baby, that would be us.

What I love about our shows, especially the shows in Dallas, away from some of the college towns, you have such a mixture of people listening to us.

Young people, old people and people of all different races listening to us and having a good time, I love that.

TMM:  Who are your main musical influences?

BE:  Hmmm (thinks a minute), well my parents listened to so many different people. Like the Neville brothers, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Sonny Landreth and John Hiatt.

The biggest musical influences on me though would be Robert Earl Keene, Lyle Lovett, Stevie Ray Vaughn to an extent, I mean I have every one of his records, but I could never do that.

Lynard Skynrd and the Allman Brothers. The five are probably Robert Earl Keene, Lyle Lovett, Guy Clark, Lynard Skynrd, and the Allman Brothers.

TMM:  Describe what Texas Music is all about to you?

BE: Camaraderie, Family. It’s real, no bull shit. I don’t care if somebody is terrible. If they wrote a song and decided to play it for you, that makes them special, to me. To me, that makes them a very good individual. A lot of people don’t realize, it takes a lot to write a song and play it for people.

You put your soul out on the line, I mean, you know how many people say “that guy really sucks!” What do you think that does to him?

TMM:  I read on your website that Rusty Greer (outfielder and designated hitter for the Texas Rangers) plays “Travelin’ Man” every time he steps out to the plate. How cool is that?

BE:  Yeah, he also plays “Its About You,” too. Last time we played Adaires, they (Texas Rangers) were playing on a Monday night.

We went to the game and Rusty stepped up and they start playing “$50 Dollars and a Flask of Crown,” “It’s about You” and then “Travelin’ Man” started when he walked up to the plate. I was like “WOW”, I mean it’s so weird, Rusty Greer has been my favorite player.

I was born and raised on the Rangers, I live and die for the Rangers. And the fact that he of all people decides to play my CD. And then there’s a writer from the Dallas Morning News, Evan Grant and Eric Nadel, the voice of the Texas Rangers.

They are both big fans (of Bleu) and they gave Rusty the CD.

Matter of fact, the first time I met Rusty, he said that Evan had given him the CD and Rusty said to me “...the first time I listened to it I thought it was pretty good, but Bleu, the second time I listened to it, I said, “that’s just genius!”

To me, that’s just the coolest thing in the world! To hear a song of yours out in front of 25,000 people out at the ballpark, there’s just nothing better!