Center for the Arts Bonita Springs FL April 15 2022 by Joel Shover

Jonathan Edwards brought his folk-style sounds to a warm and welcoming crowd Friday evening for a very intimate performance at The Center for the Arts in Bonita Springs, Florida, to promote his first all originally penned album in over 50 years titled “Right Where I Am”. 

The new album with eight new awe inspiring songs written by an accomplished musician to help us folks navigate through these difficult modern times. Edwards recorded the album in the summer of 2020 in Portland, and now it’s in our playlists to enjoy.  Inspired to write these new songs in the heart of the pandemic, where better than to social distance than the great Pine Tree State of Maine? 

While Jonathan’s songs are what he’s famous for, the real treat is seeing him perform live and interact with the crowd. Some of the stage banter can be just as good as some of the songs. 

Edwards assured the crowd with his opening waltz “Dream Song”, that he was still the “Honky Tonk Stardust Cowboy” that we have all grown with.  As I said earlier the stories that Jonathan can tell are great and are the bonus of the show that you must see for yourself to totally appreciate.

Edwards had a surprise all rolled up for the crowd, and if you were paying attention to his social media page you knew it was Matt Benfield from Naples, FL as his special guest on guitar. Matt gracefully showed his skills while playing acoustic, electric, and steel guitars. He didn’t stop there he even showed he can pick with the finest as he played the banjo for the 1971 hit “Sunshine”. 

Matt Benfield is 25 years old and can be found in the Southwest Florida music scene playing with Moonstone Riders. Check them out they have an upcoming summer tour that’s taking destination requests! Start following him now if you don’t already! .

The first set was filled with numbers like “Girl from the Canyon”, “TCAT” off the new album, and “Travellin’ Blues” written by the famed Jimmie Rodgers.

Most noted, other than “Sunshine” of course, was the new catchy tune “Stingray Shuffle”. The song written about a beautiful day at Barefoot Beach, Naples, Florida. That’s where a stubborn stingray stung Jonathan’s wife, Sandy in the foot teaching, from that moment forth, the “Stingray Shuffle”. “Sunshine” took us into a crowd singalong followed by a short set break.

Jonathan paid tribute to the late Pete Seeger numerous times throughout the night. One song featured was written by Seeger “Turn Turn Turn”, turned to a chart-topping hit for The Byrds in 1965. Seeger aside from being the excellent songwriter he was, He too, like Jonathan was also a folk singer in support of civil rights, environmental and counterculture causes. 

Another great new smoking tune off the album is “Drop + Roll”, a continuance of shanty filled stories to inspire relaxation.  The title track of the new album “Right Where I Am” gave the crowd inspiration insights to the challenging times we face as a society in whole. The world needs more Jonathan Edwards in it for sure!

Check out the full gallery of photos by Joel Shover of this night here.

“Fill it, light it, shut up, and close the door. Cause’ we’re gonna lay around the shanty mama, and put a good buzz on” The crowd sang along to the 4:20 anthem “Shanty” Jonathan joked that was the last song. He had two more songs that brought the crowd together even closer. The 1971 song “Sometimes”. 

Oh, I think “I hear a phrase echo through the haze”. The Youngbloods phrase would be “We are but a moment’s sunlight, fading in the grass” “Get Together” closed out the evening. 

Go See Live Music. Till The next Show……Joel


Set 1: 

Dream Song


Honkytonk/Hall of Fame


Travellin Blues

Girl from the Canyon

Stingray Shuffle


Set 2:

This Island Earth

How Long

7 Daffodils

Turn Turn Turn

Right Where I Am

Song for the Life

Drop + Roll

Hearts Overflowing



Get together


Check out the full gallery of photos by Joel Shover of this night here.

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