After a divorce (from longtime musical partner Colin Cripps) and a new relationship (Justin Vernon, aka Bon Iver), it's not surprising that Kathleen Edwards went into her latest album, "Voyageur," determined "to do a record that would stand apart from my previous work."
"I really felt like I'd sort of pigeonholed myself a little too much in the singer-songwriter pocket," explains Edwards, 33, an Ottawa native who, as the daughter of a diplomat, spent time in South Korea and Switzerland while she was growing up. "Musically I had a lot of other, diverse intentions going on and showing that I didn't want to stick with classic song structure.
"I really identified with my first two records, this time I was, 'OK, I"m really going to step out of the vein' and really worked on songs for along time."
In that regard, the Grammy Award-winning Vernon came into Edwards' life initially as a collaborator, co-producing and playing on "Voyageur" -- though the song "A Soft Place to Land" was inspired by their subsequent personal relationship.
"I was looking for somebody to help me produce the record, and eventually just through the Internet I became acquainted with Justin," says Edwards, who also worked with Norah Jones, Frances & the Lights and others. "We started talking about music without any idea he would actually start producing the record. We just started working on songs together, and when that went so well it seemed like the logical choice was to keep working.
"I really sort of spearheaded the direction, and he helped me when I hit an impasse. It really helped me get this (album) to where I wanted."
Kathleen Edwards and Doug Paisley perform Friday, June 8, at the Magic Stick Lounge, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance, $17 at the door. Call 313-833-9700 or visit www.majesticdetroit.com.
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