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Kathleen Edwards smells the flowers

By Jason MacNeil, February 2008

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"I don't know," she says after a laugh. "It kind of fell out of my mouth, I went 'Oh my god, that's so funny.' There are going to be people going 'What? How does Marty McSorley end up in a song?' It made me laugh so hard when I said it, I didn't even think about it. I'm actually hoping that Marty McSorley isn't offended because he can pack a punch."

Another feel-good track is the tight, chipper "The Cheapest Key" inspired by a rather ordinary conversation.

"I was joking around with a guitar player and talking about the key signatures of songs," Edwards says. "He suggested the person he was employed by writes songs in the cheapest key because of the reflection of his paycheck. He didn't really mean it. I just thought it was the most hilarious moment because I always joke how I make my guys work really hard, and I always pick the most expensive keys."

Edwards also says she shot a video for the song a day prior to this interview and was feeling the effects of it.

"I'm really f—king sore today because I did all these crazy jumps and tried to have an out-of-body experience. (I) have no reservations about being a total goof, which is actually very close to my actual personality," she says. "I was climbing on desks. There's bit of a school theme, and when you actually see it, you'll know what I mean. It was really, really fun to do. I f—king must have burned 1,000 calories, I'm so sore."

One thing that didn't kill Edwards was having producer Jim Scott at the helm, someone she worked with on her sophomore effort. Edwards says he was a great help in focusing the new record, which featured her working with musicians such as Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' keyboardist Benmont Tench and Greg Liesz among others.

"He was such an encouraging force during this time because I was very unsure about some of the direction I was going in," she says of Scott. "He was just one of these people who made me feel that if it came easily you shouldn't question it."

"He's got a really great talent for making everyone feel comfortable, and that really helped because I didn't know these people and suddenly I was recording 'Alicia Ross' and 'Scared At Night,' songs that are deeply emotional and heartfelt to me."

Edwards also says Scott the producer is equal to Scott the person.

"I had always hoped I would meet him one day, and it's the most incredible feeling when you meet that person and they're as great as or even greater a person than you ever could have hoped they would be," she says. "I had to pinch myself thinking, 'Oh my god, five years ago I was reading his name on the back of a Whiskeytown record.' I was thinking maybe one day when I'm as big as Shania Twain I'll be able to work with Jim Scott.'"

While doing promotional work for "Asking For Flowers," Edwards also performed the Canadian national anthem at the NHL All-Star Game in Atlanta this past January.

"I now realize it's probably the job for somebody who is a really acrobatic singer," she says. "I'm not a showboat singer, and that's what people want, they want Celine Dion to go up there and do a Vegas style rendition of the national anthem. It's sports entertainment, they're wishing (former WWE star) Trish Stratus comes out and dropkicks me at the end."

Edwards has a North American tour this spring and has dates running though June, but says the rest of the year is up in the air in terms of routing. She also created a signature iPod that (at last count) had a bid of $1,035 with proceeds going to the Alicia Ross Memorial Fund. Edwards was afraid the iPod (which contains a bevy of unreleased songs, covers, videos and other perks) wouldn't sell for the cost of the iPod, but she's quite proud of the result.

The new tour will see a new bassist in tow following the amicable departure of longtime friend Kevin McCarragher, someone who responded to a radio ad Edwards placed looking for musicians to jam with 12 years ago. John Dinsmore is the new bass player, someone Edwards says is "over-qualified."

"I'm ready to work, and I've had so much time off that it really gave me some great perspective," she says. "I have such a second wind I feel like I'm 20 again, and I'm excited to go out on the road. I have a better understanding of how hard I have to work and how much energy I'm looking forward to putting into it."

Unfortunately, the two heartbreaks she had this year were due to Tom Petty and one of his Heartbreaker. For one, Edwards says she would've loved to be the support act for Petty's summer North American tour, but it went to Steve Winwood.

The second incident seemed more hurtful.

"Mike Campbell (Petty's longtime guitarist) was supposed to come and play on my record," she says. "I was so beside myself and having an out-of-body experience, but Jim Scott said, 'Mike just called, he's really sick, and he's not going to make it.' I was like, 'F—k!' I bawled my eyes out, and then I realized, 'Oh my god, he is a real heart breaker.'"

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