Handy Festival off to sound start in Florence - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Handy Festival off to sound start in Florence

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J Edwards was persuaded by friends to appear at the Handy Festival. (Source: WAFF) J Edwards was persuaded by friends to appear at the Handy Festival. (Source: WAFF)
FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) -

It's that time of year again - the W.C. Handy Festival is taking over the Shoals.

For 10 days, the air is filled with beats and sounds created to preserve and promote the musical heritage of Northwest Alabama.

The festival got off to a shaky start this year due to rain, but singers and songwriters are ready to share their talent with you no matter the weather.

"For years, people have been telling me 'You've got to get down to Muscle Shoals, that's your style of music, that's where you'd fit in really good," said singer/songwriter J Edwards. "I'm really enjoying it."

J Edwards grew up with Christian music; his mother played a B-3 organ. Edwards' raspy voice puts a unique spin on his music, not quite fitting in with any one specific genre.

"It's what we call 'Blue Country Rock,'" he laughed. "It's a potpourri basket, that's what it is."

Like others who travel to play in Muscle Shoals, singer/songwriters like J Edwards want to take listeners to another place in time.

"You give people a chance to step out, just like they do in a movie. They step out away from your life and what you're doing; you step into a song or a story and live it for 3 minutes and 30 seconds," Edwards said.

J Edwards plays at Sam's Monday night and at Truly Cigars Tuesday night. For a complete list of Handy Festival events, click here.

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