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Edwards' 'Failer' Is No Failure

Helen Keller statue in Capitol
AP Photo/Evan Vucci
Canada continues to send good music and young talent south of its border.

Singer/songwriter Kathleen Edwards is the latest Canadian to make Americans take notice of the talent from its northern neighbor. The 24-year-old is currently featured in Rolling Stone as one of "10 artists to watch for 2003."

Some critics say her debut album, "Failer" is similar to the music of Lucinda Williams, but with its own identity.

Edwards paid a visit to the Saturday Early Show's Second Cup Café to perform "Six O'clock News" and "Mercury."

The singer says she grew self-reliant during a childhood shuttling between Ottawa, Geneva and Seoul with her parents and brother. The family moved around because of her father's job - he served for years as Canada's deputy minister of international trade. Edwards explains that her self-reliance is reflected in her music.

In 1999, Kathleen recorded a six-song EP entitled "Building 55" and pressed 500 copies. By fall 2000, she was on tour across Canada, booking her own dates and driving herself.

Edwards says her classical training as a violinist played a big part in her being able to play guitar and write melodies. Her mother was a piano teacher and her dad a singer who met in a choir. So, Edwards says, she and her older brother were both thrown into playing music almost from birth. She began writing songs shortly after she graduated from high school.

Edwards says that some of the songs on "Failer" reflect her own life, while others are stories. Most of the alternative-country singles on the album are narratives told in a little under five minutes. "Six O'Clock News" details a lover's violent end, "12 Bellevue" tells the story of living with alcohol and "Mercury" is about how Edwards wooed a lover with a little artificial help.