T. Edwin Doss
Born in a small town in Alabama, T. Edwin grew up in a family that enjoyed music. By the time he was six years old, he was copying his sister’s piano lessons without taking formal lessons. He managed to acquire a right-handed guitar from a friend and learned chords “up-side down”.
After three years, someone suggested that he switch the strings around, and after doing so T. Edwin began learning more, playing along with folk music, country, and blues. His early influences were Peter, Paul and Mary…The Kingston Trio…Hank Williams…Patsy Cline….Pat Boone…Perry Como…and various Motown acts. In subsequent years, his writing was influenced by Tom T. Hall, James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Bob Dylan, Jim Croce, Cashman & West, Jimmy Webb, Roger Miller and 19th-20th Century English poetry, late 19th century American poetry to early 20th century American poetry.
In high school, he wrote jingles-type advertisements for those running for class office, cheerleading, etc. The halls were filled with his rhymes on poster board. During those days and in college, he continued with poetry and prose, developing technique in meter and rhyming. He also began learning the Travis picking style and other finger picking styles, and incorporated these into his first original tunes.
He released a 45rpm record in 1975, receiving favorable reviews and substantial air-play. T. Edwin was booked in many venues including a few warm-ups for Hank, Jr. …..Townes Van Zandt….Johnny Paycheck and others.
After moving to the Washington, D.C. area, he worked clubs in Georgetown, Bethesda, Chevy Chase and Rockville and many universities and colleges, warming up Livingston Taylor, The Roselyn Mountain Boys, and various blue grass acts. During this period t. Edwin penned more than One Hundred songs transitioning into performing only tunes he had written.
In 1981 he married Patricia, and even though his performing was limited for many years, Patricia has been instrumental in keeping his musical talent and phenomenal writing ability alive. Within the last three years T. Edwin feels as if he has written many of his better tunes, and has recently teamed with Chris Murphy of RHL Studios, Paul Bell…Johnny Castle…and Pete Ragusa from the “Nighthawks” to record a cd. Jon Carroll, formerly with the “Starland Vocal Band” has also been a huge asset to the project, not only with his piano work and vocals, but also arranging several background vocals. T. Edwin brought in Bob Spates on fiddle, Bob Bensen on trombone, “Banjer”-Dan Mazer on banjo, and also Amy Nazarov and Caryn Fox from the popular blue grass group, “Dead Men’s Hollow”.
The 14 songs on the cd are a collection showcasing the many styles of writing that T. Edwin possesses. From boogie to ballads, each tune will never release the listener. His ability into human emotions, heart-felt tragedies, laughter and pain takes his audience into a place perhaps well known to the listeners, but hardly expressed from the direction of T. Edwin’s pen. Some are based on true facts while others might be pieces of memories carefully placed into sequence to bring life to a tale that is quite real to so many, and having touched so many listeners in their past. T. Edwin’s tunes weave masterfully through trails of artful scheme, with clever rhyme and reason. His tunes are unique and one cannot exactly compare him to any artist prior. Even his wife, Patricia, says, “I’ve listened to so many songwriters in my life, and I can honestly say he is elusive in characterization. People ask me what type of songs does T. Edwin write, and I usually say, “heart-felt…real…understandable….listenable….entertaining and nothing like you’ve heard before.”
T. Edwin’s guitar styles are perfectly matched for his performing, using finger picking and flat picking styles. He will surprise you with musical “Hooks” to lure you further into the enchantment of his tunes, taking one into the warmth of a distant memory or perhaps the sadness of a lost love, returning one to the laughter of tunes from….a run-away bull to perhaps a parody of Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried”……appropriately penned….”Mama Lied”. T. Edwin is absolutely “off-the-wall” with songs titled, “If I’d shot ‘ya long before I did, I’d be out of prison by now”…..”She’s a Real Good 4 ½!”….”Martian Manure” and “One Foot in the Grave”.
He is a treasure and a triumph to the singer-songwriter world. Check out house concerts on-line, find where he performing, and go enjoy one of America’s creative secrets….a genuine artist with wit, depth and sensitive introspect on life, love and libation. You will come away with a new twist to songwriting and dead-on lyrics that remain in your heart.