Asheville Citizen Times

Laura Blackley

Not your daddy’s St. Paddy’s show: Asheville’s Pick Your Switch at the Westville Pub

Sometimes there’s just no substitute for a loud rock ’n’ roll tune.

Asheville songwriter Paul Edelman, long known for twangy, driving Americana, tries on the rocker
persona for something a bit different, and he wears it well. Edelman and his three-piece band Pick
Your Switch (featuring Dave Baker on bass and vocal harmonies and Elzy Lindsey on drums) take
the stage at the Westville on Saturday for a St. Patrick’s Day show.

“It’s gonna be a fun night,” Edelman says. “We’re putting together a bunch of Irish drinking songs, a
lot of traditional tunes, one new original, and a couple of popular rock songs by Irish artists (will be
making their way onto the set list).”

Though there’s an air of celebration (it is St. Paddy’s day, after all), Edelman and company maintain
an excitement, too, over the new direction that the music is taking.

“It’s definitely a new sound,” Edelman says. “Kind of like Dick Dale, but with a more guttural, reverb-y,
harder-edged thing that’s happening, too. I’m really, really happy with the way a lot of the tunes are
coming together. We’re breaking a lot of ground with new people.”

Edelman remains a songwriter first and foremost, and this sensibility enables him to deliver the
goods, frontman-style. Things may get loud and raucous, but there’s always careful attention given to
melody and storytelling.

“I tell people that we’re like Bruce Springsteen meets AC-DC, or Tom Petty meets The Clash,”
Edelman says. “It’s definitely songwriter-driven, but with more of a big rock sound.”
The trio plans to release an album this summer, with the full intent of capturing the energy of one of
their live shows. A tour to promote the record is also in the works.

“We’re in the final stages of tracking the recording right now,” Edelman says. “We’ve been doing it all
ourselves, and I’ve been really impressed and surprised with the sounds we’re getting. Overall, we’re
trying to be as raw as we can be without sacrificing the songs.”

Edelman talks like a performer who is exactly where he wants to be, and loving every minute of it.
“I try to be open-ended about where things can go,” the singer says. “I want to play music. That’s my
goal. I just want to play.”

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