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Free Lunch for Thursday, January 30th

By Sean Phipps

Chattanooga, TN – Thanks to stations like WUTC many albums that would often go unheard on commercial radio are getting a second chance.

'Failer,' a new album by 24-year-old, alternative-country diva Kathleen Edwards is a perfect example. On Thursday, Jan. 30, WUTC will present the Failer in its entirety as a part of the weekly Free Lunch from noon to 1p.m.

Edwards has been compared to artists like Lucinda Williams, but admits to Rolling Stone magazine that her real influence is a different artist.

"There's a writer in Toronto who insists that I must own 5 copies of every Lucinda record . . ." said Edwards. "But the only one I actually own is Essence...Aimee Mann is a much bigger influence on me."

This Ottawa based singer has had her share of disappointments as far as radio airplay (or lack thereof). Her 1999 debut album, Building 55,"went unnoticed by commercial stations.

In an interview for the Ottawa Sun on Feb. 21 2002, Edwards discussed her disappointment.

"Why not try selling a record based on the fact that it's a great record?" said Edwards in reference to 'Failer.' "To what extent do we change something that's already good to make it better or worse just to fit the radio?"

This was possibly one of the reasons Edwards includes, among others; a song titled "One More Song the Radio Won't Play" on 'Failer.'

However, this album is anything but a "Failer." From the opening bars of "Six o' Clock News," we realize that Kathleen Edwards is going to be a major player in the Alt. Country scene. The songs resonate long after the first spin, and it really takes a second or third listen to comprehend the personal narrative of her songs. The album begins with a kick, but takes a much darker and intimate turn as the album progresses.

"[The songs on Failer] are from a time in my life when things were really up and down," Edwards told the Ottawa Sun.

This is evident on songs like "National Steel" and "12 Bellevue" which provide a glimpse into the life of a barfly.

'Failer' is the type of record that could drive you to drink, but with Kathleen Edwards that might not be a bad thing. There's a sort of 'lonesome' quality to her voice that warrants multiple listens.

It's both heartbreaking and inviting at the same time. 'Failer' will, undoubtedly, put Kathleen Edwards in the minds of many listeners for a very long time.

For more information on Kathleen Edwards and her music, visit www.KathleenEdwards.com