Edison Rupert walks a long, hard mile in another man’s shoes in his new folk-rock single and video Ticket To A Place — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
The Ottawa singer-guitarist’s latest release narrates the empty, anonymous existence of a homeless person with a plain-voiced candour that rings true. As it should. “Ticket To A Place is about a real-life experience I had more than 15 years ago,” Rupert says. “I saw a homeless man lying in the middle of the road with the traffic stopped in front of him. People were just watching from the sidewalk, and I went over to him and got him up and onto the sidewalk where I asked if he was OK, and in the end, he just wanted someone to care.”
The experience struck him as a reminder to not let his compassion get diluted and desensitized by the overflow of homeless people in downtown Ottawa. This is perhaps why he chose to tell half the song’s tale in the first person — to put himself directly in a homeless person’s shoes, to live the experience through song. “I was reminded to keep my kindness towards people no matter who they are,” he said.
The accompanying video — filmed on the same street as his fateful encounter — finds him Rupert walking alone at night in the dead of winter. As the song builds and the tale takes on an infectious, bluesy melody, Rupert relates life in the a shadows: “There’s nowhere to go / Beneath this low,” he laments. “And I’d lay my bones / Anywhere that you can’t find me.” Then the song’s perspective shifts, with Rupert now recounting his meeting with the man: “I picked up a ragged man from laying in the street / He said, ‘It’s my day to go son, can’t you see?’ ”
Rupert has been making music for more than 15 years, but is just starting to put it out there now. He’s a one-man show — everything you hear is the result of Edison writing, performing, engineering, mixing, and mastering in his basement studio. Equipped with a heart full of sincerity, a house full of gear, and a drive to put his music out to the world, Edison Rupert is not looking to slow down anytime soon.