David Eugene Edwards
(Born 1968 in Englewood, Colorado) is an American musician. He is the lead singer of Wovenhand, and also the main songwriter and the principal musician on the recordings of the band. He is the former lead singer of 16 Horsepower. Although many labels have been applied to his music, it defies simple genre categorization, including elements of old-time, folk, punk, medieval, gypsy and Native American music. Lyrically, it deals with pain, conflict, faith, and redemption, with Edwards’ personal Christian beliefs influencing much of the lyrical imagery.
born and raised in New York City, Michael Mundy began his photographic career in his late teens shooting rock bands in the East Village. His ongoing passion for photography has led Michael to work with many of the industries most talented clientele. Depth and sensitivity characterize Michael’s unmistakable style. Over the course of his career, Michael has captured the essence of everything from architectural spaces, noted personalities, to beauty and fashion products. His commercial clients include Andre Balazs Properties, BCBG, Baker, Calvin Klein, J. Crew, Frette, Grey Goose, Halston, Herve Leger, Kohler, Maybelline, Morgans Hotel Group, Restoration Hardware and Roman & Williams Buildings and Interiors.
It was 1 am Easter Sunday 2004. The band 16 Horsepower had just left the Bowery Ballroom’s stage as I climbed the stairs to the cramped backstage, where the band was catching their breath with a few friends. David Eugene Edwards, Pascal Humbert, and Jean-Yves Tola sat on a couch. In front of them was a coffee table crammed with equal parts of beer, Poland Spring water, and plastic cups serving as ashtrays. Everyone was smoking, drinking, and shaking hands, their relief palpable. Having driven themselves from Cleveland to Philly, where they had played the night before, then on to New York, where they hadn’t played in three years, no one had slept in over forty-eight hours; but it’s hard to tell, as the energy generated in their performance seemed to be carrying them through.
Everyone was excited — there was a definite buzz in the air. The band looked pleased with the performance and it was apparent this was a good ending for the tour, short as it was and as long overdue as it seemed. Pascal later agreed, “Yeah, I have a very good memory of that show, I think as far as the U.S. goes it was one of our best shows in a long time.” And everyone who came to see them agreed.
“I think that sometimes if you look at the words themselves, they don’t have the same impact, but when you’re in the song … they’re magnified in a way. Music itself, and language itself, we take them for granted … I like to try to put the importance back on both of them.”
The room filled up fast, and David got up from the sofa and sat on the floor to make room for a new arrival. Someone made a comment about the lack of alcohol and asked why so little is provided. David explains, “It’s in our rider — we put down everything we like — but every time we fax it to a club or concert hall they fax it back with a big X through that part. Of course, in Europe we never have that problem. There we get everything we need.” Pascal the bass player jumps up, goes down to the bar, and comes back with a case of warm beer and some ice. Everyone is happy. As the conversations split up and deepen, the room settles down and it becomes increasingly apparent that there is an unusual lack of ego in the room, a sort of eurhythmic equanimity between the three performers.
At 1:30 A.M. the band has four more hours to kill before they will get on a plane to return to their respective homes after their six-city tour. Their van and the trailer that serves as their tour bus sit outside on Delancey Street waiting to be driven home by their tech crew. This time they are flying home, and for a change avoiding the long, cramped ride home, which at this hour seems even more grueling.
Around 2:30 A.M., the bar is closed, and the manager wants to lock up. The band has decided to hang out in town instead of heading to a hotel room that awaits them at the airport. So someone suggests a bar nearby where they can drink and actually smoke (legally). Everyone heads downstairs and out onto the street and we walk across town. Eventually we file into the bar and finally get a real drink. The conversation ebbs and flows and the bar owner sends over a round of drinks, and I’m thinking, this is more like it — at least someone is giving them the star treatment.
Finally we parted around 4:30 as they closed yet another bar. I head home and they make their way to the airport and possibly a few hours’ sleep on the plane. Nobody realizing this would be their last concert in New York and one of their last shows ever as a band. This all would have seemed like a typical day in the life of a struggling rock and roll band, but that’s where the irony lies.
These people aren’t a struggling rock and roll band — they are mature professionals who have honed their skills playing in various bands, performing, or recording with a network of musicians and producers reaching back to the early 1980s. 16 Horsepower was a band that has been together for over a decade, had released six well-received albums, and did extensive touring to sold-out venues in Europe and in America They all have roots in what Pascal calls “post-punk pre new wave era bands.”