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JPR Live Session: Kathleen Edwards


The critically acclaimed singer/songwriter recently returned to music after a six year hiatus. She talked to JPR's Eric Teel about her return, and how she doesn't think the burnout that led to her calling it quits in 2014 will be an issue this time around.

In 2014, Edwards was completely burned out from the daily grind of touring. She'd been out on the road since the release of her highly lauded album Voyageur in 2012, and mentally she didn't feel she could start work on yet another album.

Instead, she put her guitar away, moved back to her hometown of Ottawa and settled down in Stittsville, an small suburb nearby. She then did something that seemed to the outside world as a bit rash. She opened a coffee shop. In reality, the plan had been coming together for months. Edwards had an affinity for coffee, plus a minor background in the coffee and restaurant world. It was an opportunity for her to put down some roots for the first time in many years, and she took it.

She called the shop Quitters. It was a running inside joke with a bandmade. Since its opening, Quitters has become a pseudo community center for Stittsville. A place for community news, gossip, and after the construction of a small stage, live music.

In 2018, a chance phone call from Maren Morris led to some co-writing, which eventually led to some solo songwriting, which (to the delight of an army of fans) led to Total Freedom - the album Edwards released in the summer of 2020.

She shared some live performances from the stage she built at Quitters.

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As FM Network Program Director and Music Director, Eric oversees many aspects of JPR's broadcast day. He still hosts the occasional Open Air or classical music shift, and is the driving force behind JPR Live Sessions - our popular series of live in-studio music performances and interviews.