As those who have seen him live can attest, Pierce Edens absorbed the songwriting, storytelling and musical stylings of the surrounding Appalachian Mountains where he spent his childhood. The area continues to be rich with history and stories handed down from one generation to the next. This history takes the form of old time, folk and bluegrass music as well as spoken words of story tellers. Since the Edens family didn’t have a stereo or TV until Pierce was fourteen, the main form of entertainment was going out and listening to live performances of the songs and stories from the mountain towns nearby. This allowed him to get personally acquainted with local performers and preservationists of all kinds. When his family finally got a stereo one Christmas, Pierce brought home and began soaking up every kind of music he could get his hands on; from The Misfits to Patsy Cline.
Pierce started taking guitar lessons from a local old time player at a very early age. Since he plays left handed and was too young to have much of an attention span, not much of it stuck! It wasn’t until high school when he picked up the bass for a ridiculously loud garage-based punk band that he started working things out by ear and writing music. This evolved when Pierce found that he had something to say. Drawing from the diversely eclectic collection of records he had amassed, Pierce began to connect the dots and a professional music career was born.
What started out as a just-for-fun, play-as-loud-as-we-can punk band for Edens, turned into something a little more serious. Writing lyrics and singing was fun at first, but soon he began to care about the things he was saying. Returning to the bin of music he had collected, Edens started really listening to pop music, folk, blues and the old grainy recordings of original American musicians. That was when it all connected. And that was when his professional music career was born.
Pierce recorded his first demo, “Four Songs,” in 2004. A year later he gathered a band he dubbed, “The Dirty Work.” After a short six months in 2007, Pierce Edens and The Dirty Work cut the album “Party Dress” in the studio. In 2009 Pierce produced the album, “Long Days Above Ground,” which earned a “Regional Artist Project Grant” from the Asheville Area Arts Council. The most recent album, a self-titled album funded through KickStarter, was recorded by Pierce Edens and The Dirty Work in Edens’ childhood family home in 2012 – which Pierce purchased and architecturally remodeled for the sole purpose of recording albums.
His most recent project, which they recorded in two nights at The Lexington Ave Brewery in full Dolby digital surround sound in high definition on multiple cameras, is in collaboration with Sound Lab Studios. Distilled now into both CD and DVD formats, Pierce Edens and the Dirty Work, LIVE, displays the band in their most impressively raw, intense, revelatory release to date.
Along with his lead vocals and acoustic guitar, the new Dirty Work includes Matt Smith ripping the pedal steel and electric guitar, Jesse James Hongisto slapping the upright bass, Dane Rand driving the beat with drums and percussion, and Jim Aaron blasting the harmonica. Justin Ray (Trumpet) and Jacob Rodriguez (Saxophone) also appear as guest musicians on the DVD. This new arrangement propels his already phenomenally written songs to a whole new level of expression and intensity. The new release showcases the extraordinary union of the group’s diverse musical backgrounds seamlessly.
Pierce is honored to be one of two recipients of the NC Arts Council Songwriter Fellowship Award for 2013-2014 “based on his excellence in songwriting and contribution to the NC Arts.” It is a prestigious recognition he now shares with one of his all time musical heroes, Doc Watson.
Whether haunting melodies that refuse to be silenced or lyrics that transport and transcend, the stories of Pierce Edens’ music provide an unforgettable experience you will want to relive time and time again. Discover the music of one of this generation’s most phenomenal artists.