CARLSBAD — He is going big with sound and a new direction and tour.
Carlsbad’s L.A. (Luke Andrew) Edwards will launch his latest tour Aug. 26 and Aug. 27 at the Belly Up in Solana Beach, while his latest album, “True Blue,” expects rock fans and audiences from the West Coast to the Southeast.
Edwards’ current album was a collaborative effort with legendary musician and fellow Carlsbad resident Ron Blair, who was the original bassist for “The Heartbreakers,” more famously known as “Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers.”
“That one started leaning toward more rock,” Edwards said. “That one has opened a lot more doors for us in every aspect of the business. We’ve been playing bigger rooms and festivals.”
Edwards’ career began at 16, dropping out of high school and grinding out a living. His sound was more in the realm of folk with a Bob Dylan influence.
After connecting with Blair, though, Edwards and the band pivoted from a more folk style and concentrating on the lyrics to a more heartland rock sound with bigger sounds and guitars to electrify the audience.
The result has been positive, Edward said, explaining he’s moved on from dive bars to larger venues and festivals. At Belly Up, he and his band will open for Jake Smith, of the trio the White Buffalo. White Buffalo had 11 songs in FX’s hit series, “Sons of Anarchy,” including one earning an Emmy nomination.
As for the upcoming album, Edwards said it will be cut in Nashville, which has become more than just a hub for country music. In addition, Edwards will be releasing a new single in October titled, “The Crow,” and was produced by Edwards and his brother, Jay, who also plays in the band.
“I like kind of going for a bigger sound, it’s fun,” L.A. Edwards said. “The approach we’ve taken before was keeping it sparse so people can pay attention to the lyrics and the harmonies and keeping it gentle.”
The transition of sound was assisted by Blair, whose experience and ear for the band’s sound was key in the success of “True Blue.” L.A. and Jay Edwards met Blair several years ago and recorded several times at his studio.
But then L.A. Edwards approached Blair about producing “True Blue” and Blair jumped on board.
Blair said L.A. Edwards and the band were a joy to work with, different from many other artists who refuse to listen or take advice from a seasoned professional.
“I think we did it in two sections,” Blair said of recording the album. “It was just so cool and the most fun you could have, and trying out creative stuff.”
Blair said one reason is the two are similar in their musical roots as their influences are in rock and heartland rock. The connection made it easier to give direction and advice, concepts Edwards would listen to and incorporate with the album.
But the band was the opposite and their talent is a marvel, he added.
“It’s a genuine desire to find a good song, write a good song,” Blair said of L.A. Edwards and the band. “He doesn’t want to be pushed into something he’s not. They want to wrap their talent into a good, heartfelt song.”
Photo Caption: Carlsbad’s L.A. Edwards opens his new tour Aug. 26 and Aug. 27 at the Belly Up in Solana Beach. Audiences will hear the band’s latest album, “True Blue.” Courtesy photo