As Northern Colorado continues to grow in reputation as a hotbed for popular music, the band Edison, originating in Colorado and comprised of singer/guitarist Sarah Slaton, drummer/vocalist/trumpeter/mandolinist Dustin Morris and Grammy nominated guitarist Maxwell Hughes (formerly of The Lumineers), is positioned to be the next sensation on the national scene. Opening for the likes of Iron & Wine and Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Edison has gained a national following that awaits their full-length debut Familiar Spirit, set for release on September 16.
Scene recently sat down with the band to chat about their origin and what’s next for them.
Scene – What initially inspired you to become musicians?
Sarah – I had been an athlete and didn’t have pursuing music on my radar until my big sister left a guitar behind when she moved out. I fell in love with everything about music.
Dustin – I was raised in a musical family, with a lot kids my age with the same interest. My dad and brother taught me to play few songs at an early age and I’d take my guitar to my neighbors’ and plug up for band practice.
Maxwell – I was inspired to play music when I first heard Tommy Emmanuel play the guitar. He had a different style of playing than I had ever seen and I was intrigued to figure out how to play like that.
Scene – How did the current configuration of Edison come to be?
Edison – Dustin’s former project was heading to play SXSW a few years ago and Sarah joined the tour as the opening act. Late night hotel jams became the foundation and after returning to Colorado the initial duo of Edison formed in 2014. Fast forward to SXSW a year later and Maxwell co-headlined a tour with Edison. The final piece came together on that trip.
Scene – You’ve recently signed with Rhyme & Reason Records (RARR), which is a relative newcomer in the industry, why them?
Edison – We believe in the people behind RARR as much as they believe in us. Although RARR is a relatively new label, its history goes back a decade. The founder, Emmy Black, previously worked A&R at Bar/None Records (Yo La Tengo, They Might Be Giants) in addition to managing labels for Ben Kweller and Los Lonely Boys. We lucked out to have a team that is full of incredibly talented and kind people. We just spent a month with everyone in New York and they’ve become family.
Scene – Tell us about the inspiration behind your new release Familiar Spirit.
Edison – We spent a majority of the last year on the road (150+ shows) so we made a conscious effort to stop and pause for writing. Our first stop was a cabin in the Rocky Mountains near Fairplay. Next we spent a week at a house on the Chesapeake Bay after we wrapped playing CMJ in New York last October. The last stop was at Arcosanti, an artist community in the Arizona desert. The collection of songs written in the various landscapes will be on Familiar Spirit.
Scene – You recently completed a residency at Pianos in NYC. How was the reception in New York and how did it differ from your Colorado fan base?
Edison – The first week we had to get used to New York crowds. They don’t show a lot of emotion and you find yourself wondering! Each week our crowd grew. The final show was packed, people were energetic and a lot of them knew the words. Colorado fans are different in that they freely give you positive energy and support. It comes naturally to people out here. That’s what we love about Colorado.
Scene – You’ve embarked on an aggressive national tour that most would find daunting, in terms of the number of dates, what do you do to prevent exhaustion?
Edison – We try to take one to two days off from shows each week to catch up on rest. It also helps that our van has a bed in the back so that you can nap when it’s not your driving shift. There are some days where you feel really wiped, but you always seem to wake up the second you get on stage. The hardest part to figure out is winding down after the show, because you have all this extra energy.
Scene – What are your favorite venues to play in Northern Colorado?
Edison – The Downtown Artery, Mishawaka Amphitheatre
Scene – Do you have any musical “guilty pleasures” that you’d be willing to share?
Sarah – I have a propensity to play Nsync and the RENT soundtrack!
Dustin – Boys ll Men and bad hair metal!
Maxwell – When I want my soul to be crushed, I listen to ‘Alma’ by Northern Hustle, but in general my guilty pleasure is Taylor Swift and Kesha!
Band info:– ryhme-reason.com/edison
Instagram: @listen to Edison