Acoustic quartet Edgy Folk will make the rounds of the Cayuga County area this next week, touching down Friday at Creekside Books & Coffee in Skaneateles and Wednesday at Oak & Vine at Springside in Fleming.
I recently spoke to vocalist Jon Peterson about the group's latest work, the transition from coffeehouses to bars, and its favorite covers:
Q. What's new with Edgy Folk?
A. We have been really busy. I've helped co-produce a CD with Donna (Dennihy), called "Early Girl." I came out with my CD a couple years ago, and finished her solo CD in the last week and it's going to print. It'll be out pretty soon. We did a lot of producing with really phenomenal artists on the CD at Sub Cat Studios in Syracuse. It's going to sound world-class.
Q. Have you been performing often?
A. We (Peterson, Dennihy, Heather Lee and GD Bower) simply perform when we're comfortable, a couple times a month. We're not touring because our lives get in the way. We're at Creekside and Oak & Vine regularly. The Red Rooster has been a hangout, too.
Q. Do you work a lot of your and Donna's solo material into the shows?
A. We do a couple of numbers off those CDs, and a couple off my CDs, and lately we've been doing a lot of Donna's stuff. And of course Donna and I write constantly and share with other writers as well, and that's a constant. If we were full-time musicians and this was what we do, we'd have more material than we know what to do with. I've got another 10 songs or so I've got ready for a CD — it's a matter of not having the time to get in the studio. We're really comfortable with the co-writing, and producing the CD for Donna has been a joy.
Q. When you go from a coffeehouse like Creekside to a bar like Oak & Vine, does the Edgy Folk show change much?
A. At Creekside, we are so lucky that we get a turnout that really appreciates a lot of original material, so we share more of that at Creekside. We're honored by how many people come down and know the words to our songs and put in requests. At Oak & Vine, we share some originals, but it is a bar, so we do some feel-good songs that are favorites for everyone.
Q. What are some of your favorites to play, of those kinds of songs?
A. We're not a hip band — we're just not. We're not going to do the top-40 songs. But some of the songs we've crafted as Edgy Folk used to be songs like that. Like, we do Talking Heads' "Psycho Killer," or Lisa Loeb's "Stay." We don't do the big hits. A great example is "Wagon Wheel." We've been doing it since Old Crow Medicine Show did it, which was really underground, and we've really turned it into an Edgy Folk song. Now Darius Rucker comes out with "Wagon Wheel" and it makes millions of dollars because of his name. I would bet he would enjoy our version and say it's really unique and creative. We've been doing this so long, we're not going to be No. 1-hit artists. We're just trying to escape life for three hours. I'm smiling as I talk about it, because I'm looking forward to it.