Edmondson’s rapidly growing fan base, “The Southland Mob,” takes its name from his debut CD, produced by Texas musical royalty, Lloyd Maines. His road-dog touring ethic keeps him running down blacktops and back roads in excess of 200 days each year. Bleu Edmondson is one to watch. AMFM’s Hillary Johnston caught up with him at Austin’s Midnight Rodeo, where he was playing a benefit for The Boot Campaign, a charity for returning soldiers, which as of late has a surfeit of celebrity supporters – and for good reason.
I When they asked us to be help out and to be a part of it we jumped at the chance. I think I am truly blessed to be able to do what I do for a living and help a truly good cause like that – it’s absolutely my pleasure. – Bleu
*INTERVIEWER HILLARY JOHNSTON FOR AMFM MAGAZINE
AMFM: How long has your band been together?
BE: We just actually made some changes so this is like the second or third week with this drummer, Michael, but the rest of the guys have been around forever. We can’t take three months off to practice and then hit the road so we kind of have to work out the kinks on the fly. But most of the things that go wrong only we notice so it’s not that big of a deal .
AMFM: I hear that you have an EP or possibly an album coming out pretty soon?
BE: Yeah, those are all things that are going to be decided before the end of the year so that we start off 2012 with a fresh project and a good idea.
AMFM: How much of it have you written and how much of it was co-written and how much of it was totally different artists?
BE: Well most everything my entire career I have either written or co-written. There’s only been, out of the five records that we have, only three songs that I haven’t had a hand in writing. And those were written by friends of mine, friends that i think are really good song writers and I went ‘Hey can I record that song?’ and they were like ‘Yeah, go head.’ But I have either written or co-written everything that is going to be on the next record, at this point. Unless I get a wild hair and go ‘I’ve always wanted to record a song by blahblahblah’ and choose some song that I’ve loved or something like that, but at this point it is all going to be brand new material and all original stuff.
SHORT CLIP OF INTERVIEW WITH AMFM MAGAZINE:
AMFM: Is “Black and White” going to be on that one or is it going to come out as it’s own single?
BE: “Black and White” is on this current record, it’s the latest single to radio and it’s moving up the chart. It’s like 12, 13th, or 14th something like that at this point. It’s doing well for what we thought we would do. It’s doing great.
AMFM: Black and White is a special song because…
BE: I believe there are a lot of different levels. Before this current record, The Future Ain’t What It Used to Be, The Boot Campaign heard “Black and White” and felt it really tied in nicely with what they are trying to do with men and women actively in the military and those returning home. They do some amazing work. When they heard that song they liked it and they wanted to include it on their fundraising compilation CD that came out in 2010.
I was glad to do it. Any small part we can do to help them out in any way and to help out the military. You know, I’m just an idiot with a guitar so the fact they wanted us to help is an honor, and it is humbling and is absolutely my pleasure.
AMFM: I don’t think idiot is the right term, I would have gone with talented and gifted.
BE: Well you’re entirely too kind
AMFM: But entirely too right.
AMFM: You’re involved with the Boot Campaign, can you talk a little bit about that?
BE: Black and White is available bleuedmondson.com for $0.99 and all the money goes to the Boot Campaign. That was one way we tried to raise a little money for them. All of the money that comes through the door at this show tonight [Midnight Rodeo in Austin, TX on September 14, 2012] is going to go to them. I’m going to get to hold one of those fake big checks and get to hand it to them, I’ve always wanted to do that, so that’ll be fun. And at shows all across the country, usually right before we perform Black and White, I try to mention the Boot Campaign and tell people to check it out. They are doing some great work. Just that kind of thing, raising awareness as much as I can. If we get people to look at their website, find out what they do and hopefully then they will in turn help. Whether it’s a donation of money or their time or just passing along the word.
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
Nashville, TN (September 18, 2012) — Bleu Edmondson opened his recent show in Austin by presenting the Boot Campaign with a check reflecting the proceeds from the evening’s show and merchandise sales. In total, over three thousand dollars was raised. On hand to accept the donation on behalf of the Boot Campaign were founding Boot Girl, Mariae Bui, who spoke to the audience about the organization’s mission and goals, Director of Operations Larry Murray and Boot Girl, Meghan Roth, along with KOKE air personality, Drew Bennett.
The relationship between Edmondson and the Boot Campaign dates back to 2010 when the military support organization asked to include his song, Black and White, a poignant story about one young man’s decision to join the military in effort to help his poverty-stricken family, on their fundraising CD, When They Come Back.
“When the Boot Campaign asked if they could put my song on their CD, I didn’t even have to think about. If it could benefit our troops, even in some small way, I was happy to let them have it,” stated the raspy voiced red dirt rocker. The track, released as the fourth single from Edmondson’s much-lauded The Future Ain’t What it Used to Be CD and currently in the top 20 on the regional Texas radio charts, will be available for download from Edmondson’s site (bleuedmondson.com) through the end of September, with the proceeds continuing to be earmarked for donation.
The fundraising concert was held at one of Austin’s premiere night spots, Midnight Rodeo, known as the best place for live country music. “We were glad Bleu chose our venue to host this event,” stated Mark Easterling, talent buyer for the venue, “and we were happy to do whatever we could to help make it as successful as possible for the Boot Campaign.”
About Boot Campaign: The Boot Campaign is a 501(c)(3) organization, is a grassroots initiative started by five women from Texas known as the Boot Girls. Through the sale of military boots, the campaign Provides an easy and tangible way for Americans to show appreciation for troops (both past and present), cultivate awareness of the challenges they face upon return and raise funds which are
granted to programs meeting these physical and emotional needs. For more information, go to bootcampaign.com.
About Midnight Rodeo: Originally an 84 Lumber Company site, Midnight Rodeo is located near the Austin airport on Ben White at Woodward. With over 2,000 square feet of solid oak dance floor, the venue often showcases local and national music artists.