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Kathleen Edwards: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

From a house in East Nashville, Kathleen Edwards sings about how thankful she is for those early aughts when she was praised with awards, television appearances, touring to packed venues — even if the tour bus with the bed in back was "total crap." As she continues to sing "Glenfern," the opening track to her first album in eight years as well as this Tiny Desk (home) concert, she remembers her former husband and collaborator.

But, as thankful as she is for those years, they overwhelmed her, and she quit. Struggling with depression, Kathleen Edwards opened a coffee shop called Quitters Coffee and lived a very different life.

A handful of years later, in 2017, she was invited to Nashville by Maren Morris to write some songs. That Nashville visit sparked a new beginning and eventually the 2020 album Total Freedom, which birthed the four songs you hear in this Tiny Desk concert.

She's flanked by her carefully masked musical mates: guitarist Todd Lombardo, who also plays on Kathleen's latest album, and Justin Schipper on dobro. Kathleen Edwards seems happy playing these new songs. They can be songs of sadness, sometimes filled with seething, such as "Ashes to Ashes," but she's also grateful for her everlasting love for a four-legged creature and the little catalpa tree where it's buried. She's found strength after those nonstop years — a lesson for us all, perhaps about life and time and its gift.


SET LIST

  • "Glenfern"
  • "Ashes to Ashes"
  • "Who Rescued Who"
  • "Hard On Everyone"
  • MUSICIANS

  • Kathleen Edwards: vocals, guitar
  • Todd Lombardo: guitar
  • Justin Schipper: dobro
  • CREDITS

  • Audio and Video: Crackerfarm
  • Edited: Charles Davis
  • TINY DESK TEAM

  • Producer: Bob Boilen
  • Video Producer: Maia Stern
  • Audio Mastering: Josh Rogosin
  • Associate Producer: Bobby Carter
  • Tiny Production Team: Kara Frame, Gabrielle Pierre
  • Executive Producer: Keith Jenkins
  • Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann
  • Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.