Singer-Songwriter & Pianist Is No Lounge Lizard
By: Darryl Sterdan
Taken From: Winnipeg Sun
Doug Edmond might look like he should be tinkling the ivories and crooning Send in the Clowns in a lounge somewhere. But the local pianist is no lounge lizard — he’s actually a singer-songwriter who fuses folk, blues and jazz to create a sound somewhere between Bob Dylan, Van Morrison and Mark Knopfler. Edmond and his band — which includes former Crash Test Dummies drummer Mitch Dorge — recently released the CD Between the Shadows and the Light. Between gigs a while back, he sent in some answers to my clownish questions.
Who’s in the band, how old are they, what do they play, and what do they do for real money?
Doug Edmond (singer/songwriter, keyboards, flute, mouth harp), Mitch Dorge (drums, studio producer), Rubin Kantorovich (guitars), Alasdair Dunlop (bass). Doug is executive manager of technology, education and research services for a school division. Mitch is a music producer. Alasdair is a full-time musician. Rubin is an electronics specialist.
Give us the history of the band in 20 words or less.
In 2006 I decided to return to performing. Mitch agreed to play. We welcomed Rubin and Alasdair shortly thereafter.
Describe your music and/or sound in 20 words or less.
My songs draw from folk, jazz and blues — and we play everything with true emotion and intelligent lyrics.
Describe your look and/or image in 20 words or less.
We are about the music — there is no dress code!!
Why should we buy your CD?
Between the Shadows and the Light reflects our live performances with additional instrumental sound and backup singers. My personal/quieter numbers are superior on the CD than during live performances.
If you’re so great, tell us this: How does your music make the world a better place?
Did I say we were great?? The answer lies with the audience — if we can bring some joy and understanding to others by connecting with them through our music, I’m happy.
What’s your most original quality?
I have a interesting voice and our arrangements for certain songs are rather unique.
Complete this sentence: This band runs on …
I prefer to say that the band feeds on the energy of each player, which usually makes our live performance that much better!
What’s your best song and what makes it so good?
Treat me like a Dog has become a bit of crowd pleaser! It’s about wanting to be treated as well as a dog by one’s sweetie.
What’s your worst song and what the heck were you thinking when you wrote it?
That song is long gone!!
Name a song you wish you had written and tell us why:
Like a Rolling Stone. It not only reflects the time of my youth but is a timeless tune. My kids also love it — but then again, they were trapped in the back on long road trips with Dad in charge of the CD player … Hmm, sounds like brainwashing to me.
Name a song you’re glad you didn’t write and tell us why:
Any disco song.
What are your favourite movies?
Sophie’s Choice, Taxi Driver, The Graduate, Husbands and Wives, Frost/Nixon. I love movies.
Your favourite TV shows?
Mad Men, Six Feet Under, Seinfeld, The Wire.
Your favourite books?
Infinite Jest, English Patient, Remainder, Tribes.
Your favourite magazines?
Hands down The New Yorker!!
Any other favourite things?
I play squash to stay fit and love to bike and sail at the lake!
What is your most valued possession? And where do you keep it?
My grand piano, handed down to me from my parents. It was purchased by my dad’s mother during the Second World War! She played in and around Winnipeg, mostly in churches. My Mom’s mother played piano for silent movies in her early days!
Got any guilty pleasures? What are they?
A well-bodied red wine with a medium-rare steak!
Name your favourite musical acts.
Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan (Blood on the Tracks), Neil Young (solo), U2, early Rolling Stones, early Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Dave Holland, Hey Rosetta!, Jill Barber,
Who would you be insulted to be compared to?
Any disco artist.
Tell us about your best gig.
Jan. 17, 2009 at the Folk Exchange. We had a night of pure musical ease, flow and timing for the band. Some nights, everything seems to be right with the universe …
Tell us about your worst gig.
First time I played McNally’s, I found my voice/piano drifting away into the upper level and coming back to me as a delayed echo. It took me a good 30 minutes to ignore the feedback over the major noise from the crowd eating, talking and ignoring!
Describe your ultimate fantasy gig. Don’t hold anything back.
Small- to medium-sized jazz/folk clubs in Europe.
What’s the best part of performing?
The connection between the band members and the audience each night.
What are your pre-show rituals, superstitions and good luck charms?
We do like to have a pre-gig meal to talk about things, and then run through a few different songs as part of sound check.
How would you like to travel from gig to gig? Limo, rickshaw, dirigible?
The travel isn’t as important as having roadies to set up and take down everything … I want a personal roadie
Pick your superpower: Invisibility, flight or … ?
Complete this sentence: I’ll know I’m a success when …
I am successful now. I don’t buy some sort of next stage or progression created by someone outside yourself. You got to do this now thing. I would like to become a better musician on stage and in the studio — one can always find new sounds. But I like the tension that comes from wanting to try new things and forcing yourself to just do it.