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Tommy Edwards brings new music back to the Flathead after stint on “The Voice”

by TAYLOR INMAN
Bigfork Eagle | November 3, 2021 12:00 AM

Local musician Tommy Edwards said he is reinvigorated and more excited than ever to share new music after a stint on NBC’s “The Voice.”

Edwards said the singing competition inspired him to reach for new heights and the Flathead Valley musician returned home with plans for a new concert series and new original music.

His musical journey started far away from the Flathead. He is originally from Hendersonville, Tennessee, where he watched his dad play in bands as a hobby while he was growing up. When Edwards and his brother Josh got into sports at school, the family started hosting bonfire parties for their teammates and their parents. This is where Edwards tapped into the guitar.

“That’s where all the music started; you know he would sit out there with his guitar pretty much every weekend and bribe me to come out there and play around the fire,” Edwards recalled. “When I was 12 he bought me a guitar and I started playing music, listening to my dad do his thing, and it just kind of took off from there,”

Edwards moved to Bigfork in 2012 when he was still playing music as a hobby. This changed when he met Luke Lautaret from the local band Marshall Catch at an open mic night at Blondie’s. Edwards said Lautaret took him under his wing, and soon Edwards was playing other open mic nights, learning to set up his own equipment and booking new gigs.

“I played my first gig and fell in love with it,” Edwards said. “So I put a set together and hit the ground running,”

EDWARDS SAID his music is rooted in rock ‘n’ roll, but he strives to marry it with a pop influence and a little bit of Southern twang. After playing cover songs for so long he fell in love with artists like Tyler Childers who have deep roots in Appalachian country. Edwards used to only play cover songs, happy with the fact that he could make a living by playing music, but lately things have changed.

“I’ve fallen in love with songwriting lately, because after going on ‘The Voice’ and getting that platform and having that mental shift of ‘I’ve got this opportunity here, what am I going to do with it?’... How do you take the next step, and to me that’s writing an album and putting it out there,” Edwards said.

Once he started playing gigs around the Flathead, people immediately started telling him he should try out for “The Voice.” One night after a show, some of his good friends really pushed him to start the process, so Edwards made a profile and sent in a video of him, his father and Aaron Fetveit playing the song “Tennessee Whiskey.” Two or three years passed, and one day he noticed an email from a casting company.

“It was an email attached to my Facebook, which I never check,” Edwards said. “It was a week-old email from a casting company saying ‘Hey, we’re a casting company for ‘The Voice,’ we like your stuff and we want to fly you to Salt Lake and maybe bring you on the show.”

Edwards took off to Salt Lake City for a private audition to be on season 19 and later got a call inviting him to Los Angeles to officially be on the show. This was at the beginning of 2020, and the start of the Covid-19 pandemic pushed back Edwards’ chance to be part of the singing competition. He said it was initially disappointing, but he submitted another application for this season and to his surprise, made it through a second time.

Edwards sang “Drops of Jupiter” by Train during the blind auditions for the show, a process where the judges can only hear the singer. Country singer and judge Blake Shelton was quick to put Edwards on his team. He made it to the “battle round,” where two singers go head-to-head and their coach chooses between them. Edwards said working with Shelton was a great experience, adding that he didn’t have any notes to give him during their rehearsals and told him to “just do that on stage.” But, Edwards said his favorite part about the show was the bonds he made with other singers.

“The relationships I made with the other contestants — I’ve got friendships now. We stay in contact, we help each other with our careers,” Edwards said. “The friends I made, what I learned about the music business and the creative side of music is absolutely incredible.”

Another plus from being on the show is “the fire it lit” inside of him in regard to his career in music. Edwards has been recording singles and working on an EP at his studio in Kalispell. He started Treehouse Studios with his brother Josh, who is his manager and a musician in his own right. The two wanted a way artists in the valley could professionally record their music. Edwards recently played his unreleased singles “Chase,” and “1,500 Miles” on a local radio station. He said this original music will be part of his new set, which can be seen at his new concert series, called “The Crown Jewel Concert Series.”

Edwards and other musicians are going to play twice a month for the series, which is being held at the Jewel Basin Center in Bigfork. The first show to kick off the series will be Nov. 6, where Edwards will be headlining and Polson musician Ben Weagraff, or Benji, also will perform.

The new concert series will be the first time he’s performed since being on “The Voice “and he’s excited to unveil his revamped show with new original music, accompanied by a full band.

“I got a little taste of success, got under the lights, and I’ve never really wanted fame, never really liked being in the spotlight necessarily, but getting a little taste of it and showing the world what I got and that I can do this, I believe in it, and that just kind of affirmed that man, I got something going and I need to put in the work. It really fired me up and I’m ready to take this as far as I can,” Edwards said.

Find Edwards’ music, events and sign up for his mailing list by going to tommyedwardsmusic.com. The Crown Jewel Concert Series starts Nov. 6 at the Jewel Basin Center, 8 to 11:00 p.m. The event is open to all ages. Tickets can be purchased ahead of time for $20 by visiting his website or can be purchased for $25 at the door.

Bigfork Eagle Editor Taylor Inman may be reached at editor@bigforkeagle.com