William Norman Edwards

Down Here

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Released on producer Pete Anderson's Little Dog label -- Anderson also plays bass, drums, most of the guitars, and mandolin -- Down Here is the long-awaited solo debut by Detroit's William Norman Edwards, a long-respected sideman in electric blues who makes the transition into leading his own record with more élan than many who make the jump. A wide-ranging album that ranges from the acoustic country blues of "Robert Johnson," to the clangorous, stomping "Prophet for Profit" -- which sounds for all the world like Tom Waits busting in on one of the Band's Basement Tapes' rehearsals -- Down Here is filled with enjoyably varied songs tied together by Edwards' expressive vocals and talented songwriting. The best of the lot is the lovely, country-tinged title track, a pained but stoic response to an unexpected encounter with a former love that's as uplifting as it is heartbreaking.

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