“Bring your burning skin to my river once again 
I’ll give you life” Ed Kowalczyk, The River

Like rivers, lyrics can be a source of healing and inspiration, to be revisited as we experience new hardships and new joys. Songs penned by this instalment of the Weekend Name Drop have articulated emotions for millions, including yours truly. Meet Ed Kowalczyk.

Name: Ed Kowalczyk

Creative fields: Musician, Song Writer

Location: Los Angeles, California

Best known for: Front-man and song-writer for the band Live

IMG_1084My connection: Though I may have heard of Ed with the release of his band Live’s song, Lightning Crashes, I really paid attention to him when I saw their video for HeavenI appreciated his voice even more after watching Chris Daughtry emulate him during the fifth season of American Idol. Just a few years ago, my wife began to listen to Ed as he embarked on his solo career, and we saw him play at the Tuning Fork in Auckland in 2014. It was a great show. I was especially pleased to meet him after, and he graciously accepted a copy of my book, Redeeming Brother Murrihy.

Shaking hands with Ed KowalczykInspiration for this writer: It’s because of my daughter that I connected with Live’s song, Heaven. She was eight years old when it was released and I could easily relate with the lyrics penned by Ed: “I don’t need no one to tell me about Heaven; I look at my daughter, and I believe.” And perhaps it’s because of my daughter that I’m returning to these words and featuring Ed in this weekend’s Name Drop, as she and I have just completed a month-long visit to our Nova Scotian homeland. She’s 21 now, and Ed’s lyrics speak as truthfully to me now as they did when she was younger. Leading up to his concert, I listened more carefully to his other solo songs and especially related to his blend of spirituality, family, and elemental imagery, particularly rivers.

Ed Kowalczyk, Auckland 2014

Why you should check him out and share with others: Ed has a loyal following of fans from his days with Live and as a solo artist. He is especially popular in The Netherlands. His lyrics are ethereal yet tangible and his stage presence is charismatic and engaging both in front of a full band in large concert venues and in his I Alone format for smaller events. His appearance and voice are enormously distinctive and recognised by multiple generations of fans. He’s even made a cameo appearance in one my favourite films, Fight ClubIf you only know his work with Live, check out his solo work. Once an artist, always an artist. Ed also campaigns for World Vision.

Sample of work:

Here’s Ed, himself, singing Run to the Water at the Tuning Fork. You can see the back of my head on the left throughout. 🙂

And, for the first time, here’s a video of my encounter with Ed after the show:

Find out more: edkowalczyk.com, Wikipedia, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube

The Weekend Name Drop is a weekly feature on this blog, promoting people I have encountered who are doing creative things.

Antony Millen is a Canadian living and writing in New Zealand. He is the author of three novels: Redeeming Brother Murrihy, Te Kauhanga and The Chain.

Smashwords Cover Te_Kauhanga_Cover_for_Kindle (2)The_Chain_Cover_for_Kindle

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