WHO: Jonathan Edwards

WHAT: An L/A Arts concert

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 6

WHERE: Franco-American Heritage Center, 46 Cedar St., Lewiston

ADVANCE TICKETS: $23, $19 for students and seniors. Tickets available online at

www.laarts.org or by calling 782-7228.

“I truly don’t feel like I’ve changed much. I’ve always been a seeker. I’ve always been an acoustic musician. I put a lot of energy and personal experience into my music.”

Jonathan Edwards will perform, courtesy of L/A Arts

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Trite, maybe, but bittersweetly true for Jonathan Edwards and his fans.

Edwards began his music career more than 30 years ago performing small, grueling gigs primarily in New England and up and down the East Coast. It was a time of war and an unpopular president. In 1971, the Vietnam War and racial tension polarized the country. That same year, Edwards earned a gold record with his hit single “Sunshine,” which became a protest anthem for the baby boom generation.

It’s a different decade now with another president with low approval ratings and another war. Edwards has returned to intimate venues, sticking close to home and close to his musical roots. He also remains outspoken when it comes to the state of national and world affairs.

“Desperate times call for desperate measures,” said Edwards. “I would hardly dream of bringing politics into a show, but the situation is so out of hand. I have to say what’s in my heart and in my head.”

Edwards kicks off this year’s touring schedule with a March 6 concert at the Franco-American Heritage Center in Lewiston.

In recent years, Edwards has held court on Maine stages as a solo artist with a laid-backacoustic guitar and a vibrant harmonica. The audience invariably and enthusiastically answers his call in “Sunshine” – “How much does it cost?” with “I’ll buy it!” and joins in the refrain’s last line, “he can’t even run his own life…” With that audience bond, Edwards sprinkles his performances with stories and philosophies of life.

“I don’t know if they’re all true, but they all happened to me,” he said.

This year’s touring stint promises a refreshing departure for the solo artist as he performs as part of a newly formed trio, while at the same time returning to his original folk leanings. Joining Edwards on stage will be Armerding Taylor on mandolin and Stuart Schulman on piano and fiddle.

“We’ll play a mix of what people know me for,” said Edwards. “We’ll have new stuff, and whatever stuff people ask for. It’s all about bringing joy.”

Edwards said he is in the midst of preproduction work for a possible new CD. While many of his friends in the music business have started opting to release singles on the Net, Edwards said he’ll probably succumb to producing a full album.

“I truly don’t feel like I’ve changed much,” said Edwards. “I’ve always been a seeker. I’ve always been an acoustic musician. I put a lot of energy and personal experience into my music.”

Edwards said he enjoys holding onto a loyal audience and enjoys even more that a new generation has discovered him.

“It’s great that parents are bringing their kids out to the shows,” said Edwards. “There’s college students listening now who are getting it, and I’m digging it.”

He reaffirmed that his values and his musical style have remained constant over the years. He continues to gravitate toward the acoustic, indie music scene. He has been involved in producing CDs for contemporary folk singer Cheryl Wheeler, who performed in Lewiston in November as part of the L/A Arts music season. Edwards added that he’s not about to be involved with corporate music labels.

“Cheryl and I are good friends, and we laugh about what’s going on,” said Edwards. “A lot of us gain strength from each other,” he added, referring to independent label musicians.

“It’s pretty scary what’s going on out in the country,” said Edwards. “It’s hard to imagine a 27 percent approval rating for this president. Who are these 27 percent?”

Although the bio link on Edwards’ Web site states that he currently lives in Austin, Texas, Edwards chuckled over the phone from his New York home. “I lived there for about 10 minutes,” he said. He did defend Austin as “an oasis in a vast desert of mindlessness.”

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