Monday, February 23, 2009
Kerri Edelman: Psychologist By Day, Rockstar By Night
How about a game of word association? Let me throw a few words at you and you say the first thing that comes to mind. Singer. Powerful voice. Very compelling, dynamic and personal lyrics throughout her songs. Maximum security prison. CD cover that has a person dressed in black. Now, at this point I am sure that just about everyone has yelled out Johnny Cash, but I want to let you in on a secret. The artist in question, who does share alot in common with Mr. Cash is a newcomer to the music scene by the name of Kerri Edelman.
Kerri is not exactly your typical singer-songwriter. You see, Kerri graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology as well as a Masters and Doctorate Degree in Clinical Psychology. She is currently employed as a Director and Clinical Psychologist in a maximum security prison. So, did your jaw just drop? Now, when you hear all of this, you may envision Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs. Then, you look at this very petite and beautiful woman and you really are confused.
I was intrigued and actually had a chance to talk to Kerri in order to settle my own curiosity on a few things. "I guess you could always say that I've been different. I was somewhat of a tomboy when I was growing up. When I was 11, I started surfing competitively. I was the only girl out there and of course I got resistance from some of the guys. Eventually, my persistence and hard work payed off; earning their respect. I am approaching my venture into music in a similar way," said Kerri.
Proving people wrong seems to be a reoccurring element in her story. "It seems like everything that I do, especially getting involved in music, has been done on my own with very little assistance, support and encouragement. Not alot of people think that I can do this and I guess that I am just going to have to demonstrate as I have in the past that with persistence and hard work what is perceived as impossible can be accomplished," Kerri said. A quick footnote to reference would be the track on her CD entitled "Vanilla Skies" which really captures the whole "I will prove you all wrong" spirit that she has.
So, how does one make the change from being a clinical psychologist by day to alternative rocker by night? "Well, it was about six or seven years ago that I began writing. I've tried putting a band together on dozens of occasions and it eventually fell apart for a variety of reasons. I have a very strong work ethic and I am a real go-getter. It's hard sometimes to find other musicians who share the same goals and aspirations that I do. It hasn't always worked out. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to collaborate with Chris Matty on this project. We have created some pretty amazing songs and I am very proud of what we have accomplished together," Kerri says.
I have to admit that I did expect her lyrics to be alot darker and disturbing than what I initially heard on the album, given her background. "I think some of my lyrics may be a little negative. I have had people tell me that they were shocked by some of the things I was singing about. I write about difficulties that I have been through and past relationships. People seem to be surprised that I have this darker side to me. I mean, I love horror movies and I love trying to figure out why people do the things that they do. It's kind of like Hannibal in Silence Of The Lambs. Stuff like that really intrigues me," said Kerri.
I do admit that the judging a book by its cover reference is going to pop up many times in her career. Kerri is definitely a walking contradiction in the visual sense. She stands, I'm guessing , not much over five feet tall. She has flowing, wavy auburn locks of hair. She seems like her voice would squeak like a tiny church mouse, but then you hear her sing. WOW! The power and emotion that comes out of her tiny frame is mind blowing.
Her CD entitled "Leave It All Behind' showcases Kerri's amazing voice and writing ability. She draws from her musical influences that include 3 Doors Down, Evanescence, Incubus and Staind as well as heavier bands such as In This Moment, Chevelle, Breaking Benjamin and Finger 11. Her songs do not contain the darkest lyrical content that I have ever heard, but song such as "Overcast" are somewhat personal. "This song was not written about one person in general, but deals with many people in my past as well as the present. The concept of this song is that every time you work hard and things begin to go in a positive direction, there is someone there that has something negative to say about your efforts and attempts to succeed," said Kerri.
Other songs seem to be bonded by the theme of relationships. "The song 'Goodbye' could be applied to getting involved in any type of a relationship where you really care about someone (boyfriend, girlfriend, best friend, etc.) but you are then led astray. The intentions that you thought the person had was ultimately wrong. Another track, 'Sinking In', was written about a person who puts on a facade and acts like he or she has your best interests in mind and at heart, but then you realize the person was being manipulative and deceitful," said Kerri.
I personally think that her CD is really good. It does have elements that are familiar to today's sound. Fans of Evanescence, Breaking Benjamin or Staind are invited to give this talented young woman a listen. Her CD can be purchased at CD Baby, i-Tunes, Amazon Music and other digital distribution mediums as well as on her website www.kerriedelman.com. To learn more about Kerri, you can visit her website and My Space page at www.myspace.com/kerriedelman. I encourage people to give her a listen and really pay attention to her powerful yet thought provoking lyrics. You can relate to the things she sings about and it really helps to make a personal connection between the artist and the listener.
The music industry needs a good dose of artists like Kerri. Even though she is a total package artist, she is more substance over style. An amazing voice and deep, meaningful lyrics show that she is talented enough to be around for the long haul. They say that dynamite comes in small packages and Kerri sure does make that statement true with a capital TNT.