Wyatt Edmondson is a singer-songwriter, but he’s not an ordinary musician. Describing him as a singer-songwriter is just scratching the surface of his story, which he’s continuing through the release of his third EP entitled If I Don’t Try. The EP hit last Friday, Feb. 21 and together with a new run of tour dates, it’s a chance for audiences to hear more of his unique perspective on both music and life.
Wyatt is a storyteller, who is much wiser and his music much more refined than his 25 years. His songs come from an incredible heart; although he was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa as a teenager, he hasn’t let the condition put a damper on his career. It’s refreshing to see (and hear) an artist as genuine, and genuinely willing to be vulnerable, as he is. Now with his latest music, he’s continuing to open up to audiences around the country.
Brittany Frederick: You had a wide variety of musical influences growing up, not just one genre. So how would you describe your sound? What was it between all these different artists that you connected to?
Wyatt Edmondson: I often tell people my sound is just the sound of a good time. It’s rock, it’s Americana, it’s reggae, it’s country all mixed in together, so it can be hard to define sonically. That being said, it’s all incredibly fun to play. I think the sense of creating a “good time” most closely links to my relationship with the music of Bob Marley. That’s a universe I could live in indefinitely, and I try to make music that feels so good that you don’t want it to stop.
BF: Why does music drive you so strongly? What makes you so passionate about it that you chose this as the direction for your life?
WE: Aside from it being purely my favorite thing to do, it’s my passion because I can do it. Being a disabled artist, there are things I can’t do, like driving, catching a baseball, or gazing at the stars. However, music will always be within my abilities, and that brings me a great sense of power and belief. That’s the cornerstone of my passion towards it. I’ll always have music to lean on and express myself without any limitation.
BF: If I Don’t Try is meant to expose listeners to a broader range of your music. Is there anything in particular that you’re hoping they take away as they explore the EP?
WE: I’d like to see people get lost in the lyrics of these songs. There’s something magical about the art of storytelling. I like to be subtle, yet thought-provoking. A lot of it is simply up to the listener’s interpretation. Songs can mean different things to different people, and that’s why words are so full of opportunity. I’m able to mix both real aspects of my life and fantasies I’ve dreamed up to create a unique and poetic landscape that has no limit on how it can impact people. All of these songs, I believe, do a solid job of that.
BF: Since some of these songs have different musical styles, did your process in recording the EP change along with them? Or did you stick with one consistent creative approach?
WE: The music sort of grew along with me. Some of these songs I wrote while in college and others just before we recorded them. Stylistically, it’s all about finding the right players, and we did that. Everyone knew the core elements of what I was hoping to represent and they delivered on it. Although the songs are different from each other, the process seemed to remain pretty linear.
BF: Concerts are important to every artist, but they’re something that means a lot to you. What is it about performing live that inspires you, and what or where are you looking forward to on your 2020 tour?
WE: Connecting with an audience is my biggest thrill as a creator. I like to take folks on a ride. It’s this trip that I’m taking, and I’m sort of going to bring you along whether you want to go or not. You are here after all. I’ve got a lot of great shows coming up, so it’s hard to pick one. I’d say playing the legendary Capri Theatre in my hometown of Montgomery, Alabama is a big honor. I’ve really got a lot of support from my community, and I’m blessed to be able to play there. I’m excited to go to California in April, too.
BF: What’s the most fun or interesting experience that’s happened to you during your time on the road?
WE: We did a run through Washington, D.C. and onto Thomas, West Virginia that will be hard to forget. First, we played at DIVE in D.C., which is a crazy historic venue. Knowing that Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan played there was enough for me. I met a guy who claimed he was the sound engineer for Dave Matthews Band in the early days, which was pretty cool. Then, we went to a polar opposite: small town Thomas, West Virginia to play The Purple Fiddle for two nights. If you don’t know this place, it’s pretty much the coolest thing ever. We met a slew of characters in Thomas that will certainly be showing in some of songs down the road. Too good not to write about. I’ll just leave it at that for now.
BF: Which artists are on your playlist now? The same artists who first inspired you, or have your tastes changed or expanded?
WE: I still love who I’ve always loved. I pretty much listen to my friends other than that. Shawn Byrne, Abe Partridge, Sarah Peacock, Judy Blank, Brian Sutherland, and more. I’m pretty blessed to know so many talented artists and call them friends.
BF: What’s the one thing that Wyatt Edmondson wants to leave his listeners with after they’ve heard his music?
WE: You can do absolutely anything you set your mind to if you try. Believe in yourself and love each other. Life is too short to not enjoy.
Wyatt Edmondson’s EP If I Don’t Try is available now. His current tour dates are listed below; for more information, visit his website.
WYATT EDMONDSON 2020 TOUR DATES
February 27 – The People’s Room (Mobile, AL)
March 6 – Balsam Falls Brewing Co (Sylva, NC)
March 12 – Bluebird Cafe (Nashville, TN) (Wyatt solo)
March 13 – Flytrap Brewing Company (Wilmington, NC)
March 14 – Hard Rock Cafe (Myrtle Beach, SC)
March 18 – DIVE (Washington, DC)
March 19 – Cabaret at Germano’s (Baltimore, MD)
March 20 – Restless Moon Brewing (Harrisonburg, VA)
March 21 – Early Mountain Vineyards (Madison, VA)
March 27-29 – Opelika Songwriters Festival (Opelika, AL)
April 1 – The Go Lounge (San Diego, CA)
April 3 – Genghis Cohen (Los Angeles, CA)
April 9 – Live Oak (Nashville, TN)
April 10 – The Julep Room (Ocean Springs, MS)
April 11 – Hard Rock Cafe (Pigeon Forge, TN)
April 16 – Odeon (Louisville, KY)
April 18 – The Purple Fiddle (Thomas, WV)
April 19 – The Purple Fiddle (Thomas, WV)
May 1 – The Tipping Point (Montgomery, AL)
May 2 – Barrelhouse (Jackson, MS)
May 13 – ISIS Music Hall (Asheville, NC)
May 15 – 3:23 Cigar Bar (Auburn, AL)
May 16 – The Coffee Vineyard (Holly Springs, GA)
May 22 – Stanley’s Pub (Cincinnati, OH)
May 23 – The Strand Theatre (Shelbyville, IN)
June 4 – Evangeline’s Bistro & Music House (St. Louis, MO)
June 6 – Great Stone Coffee (Osage Beach, MO)
Article content is (c)2020 Brittany Frederick and may not be excerpted or reproduced without express written permission by the author. Follow me on Twitter at @BFTVTwtr.