Mary Garnett Edwards uncorks some White Lightning with her latest album — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
“It offers a depth of practical knowledge from beyond the boundaries of the ordinary,” the Vancouver roots singer-songwriter offers. She’s not kidding; with lyrics seasoned by a life lived in the nooks and crannies of human experience, White Lightning — her solo debut — possesses a raw intensity forged by the fire of hard times made manageable with wry wit and gratitude.
Born in 1957, Edwards’ earliest career moments included performing at Vancouver’s Soft Rock Cafe and Kits Hous, recording at Psi Chord, Ocean Sound and Trebas Recording throughout the ’70s, and being part of the rock band Breeze. Then as now, Edwards has drawn inspiration from her own life. That includes the recent deaths of both her husband Doug Edwards — the late, great musician and composer of the pop standard Wildflower — and Psi Chord founder Robin Spurgin.
But they didn’t leave her empty-handed. “Robin had recorded all of my original songs in one night for future use,” she recalls. “After Doug passed away from cancer in 2016, I found those old tracks recorded with Robin and believed it was time to sing them again. In 2019, I asked producer Andreas Schuld to help me make an album.”
The results, recorded at Studio Down Under with engineer Soren Lonnqvis, serve as both an unearthed archive and poignant chapter in a five-decade career. Featuring a bevy of Edwards’ original material — including Robin’s Song, “penned for my dear, nurturing friend,” she says — the LP also includes three songs by Vancouver-area songwriter and videographer John Holbrook.