Kathleen Edwards with Special Guest Matt Sucich (9/23/22)
Tickets go on sale for
Premium Members: Monday 4/25 at 12pm
Members: Tuesday 4/26 at 12pm
Public: Friday 4/29 at 12pm
Presented by The Music Hall
By 2014, the singer-songwriter had released four studio albums and amassed widespread critical acclaim. She had been touring since the release of her 2012 album, Voyageur, and the prospect of returning home—only to start writing her way toward another album, and another tour—felt impossibly daunting. She put her guitar away, at least for awhile: she moved back to her hometown of Ottawa and settled down in Stittsville, an old village on the western edge of town. A running inside joke with bandmate Jim Bryson about opening a coffee shop and naming it “Quitters” became reality. For years, the only new music she heard was playing in the background while she served her regulars at the shop, where she slowly started to fall in love with music again.
But in 2018, she received an unexpected phone call that changed that. Maren Morris, a longtime fan, invited her to Nashville for a songwriting session. Edwards accepted, and “Good Woman,” their collaboration, wound up on Morris’ 2019 album, GIRL. “It reminded me that writing and creating music is entirely my wheelhouse, and it was so easy to just jump back in and do that,” she says of her fortuitous time in Nashville. “Funny enough, the third person in the room for those two days was Ian Fitchuk, and [we] ended up starting the process of producing a record.”
Edwards will make her long-anticipated return to music with Total Freedom, her fifth studio album out August 14th via Dualtone Records. Written and recorded in Canada and Nashville with longtime collaborator/guitarist, Jim Bryson, and Grammy-winning songwriter/producer, Fitchuk, Total Freedom is both a return to form and a “hard reset,” one that empowered Edwards to write and perform entirely on her terms.
“I didn’t want to write songs that were going to keep me in a dark place on stage every night,” she says. “I didn’t have to carry a lot of the pressure of whatever course I was on previously… There’s a pressure sometimes to keep that ball rolling, and that’s what was so freeing about stopping altogether. I have this whole other experience now that grounded me and helped me rebuild my relationship with myself, and writing music. I’m entirely in control and deciding what my course of action is.”
For inspiration, she turned to Bob Seger, whose “Against the Wind” struck a chord with her: “The song just reveals itself in such an effortless way. I was like, ‘That’s how I want to feel on these songs being written: that’s how I want it to feel when I play it start to finish.’” Edwards’ cloud-grazing voice and strumming achieve that as she revisits old loves, losses and heartaches in a fresh context, from nostalgic notes of appreciation (“Glenfern,” inspired by her relationship with ex-husband, collaborator and friend Colin Cripps) to treatises on grief (“Ashes to Ashes”) and slowly disintegrating romance (“Feelings Fade”). Unhesitating in her willingness to confront life’s toughest challenges, Edwards finds the beauty in it all — a radical optimism that isn’t lost on her as she prepares to release her first album in eight years, and navigate a complete shift in how she runs Quitters, in the midst of a global pandemic. Total Freedom proves that she’s ready to adapt—and that she’s got staying power, too.
“I finally had this exhale from a year that was really hard,” she says of the forces shaping Total Freedom. “I went through a scary experience, extricating myself from someone, and it was this wonderful moment of resilience when I finished the album. I am super resilient. I’m always finding ways to adjust what’s not working. I’m not gonna let someone take me down in the process. I think that calling [the record] Total Freedom was a reminder that I am a really strong person.”
Matt Sucich writes songs mostly with a pen and sings them, always, with his mouth. His last name is pronounced Sue.Sitch and his latest LP is called Don't Be so Hard on Yourself, and features performances from long-time collaborators, friends, and bandmates, including a guest appearance from Adam Duritz of Counting Crows. Tracked over the summer of 2020 in Brooklyn, NY, with co-producer and engineer, Jeff Fettig, Sucich’s lyrics are front-and-center in a mostly hushed production from the storytelling of the opening track, “Make Peace" to the vignettes of the album closer, “New Normal."
“Matt Sucich is my favorite New York songwriter. There's something quintessentially NY school about him. I love the way he writes, the detail of it, and the effortless brilliance of his guitar playing.”
- Adam Duritz, Counting Crows