Did that headline get your attention? I hope so because I have a really cool artist to tell you about that I had the privilege and pleasure of meeting the other day.
I want to start off by saying this man is brilliant. I had to really pay attention to keep up with him. His name is Ed Roman. He has just released an album and the first single is, “I Told You So,” off of his, “Letters from High Latitudes,” album. We got together to discuss that and his upcoming radio tour.
One of the first things I told him was that he physically reminded me of Neal Diamond. That did not upset him. He laughed and said:
A Well cool man, Neal’s great.
Q Okay, so that didn’t make you unhappy me saying that?
A No. Duke Ellington once said there are two kinds of music, good music and bad music. If it is played well there is many genres of it. If it’s played poorly there are many genres of that too. When you are kid you go through the growth of your prowess and at a certain point and that’s the thing for me, growing up in the 70’s as I did I lived in a household of 3 generations of people. So my grandparents were listening to oldies and European stuff. My grandmother was also into popular stuff. She loved the Beatles, Sinatra, and Presley, anybody that was kind of hip and popular. My parents were more of the new Jazz era, Buddy Rich and Coltrane and Jazz and my Dad even liked sort of the new rock movement of the 60’s and stuff. We had 8 track tapes. My Dad liked all those old 60’s. That was my Dad’s stuff and my brothers and sisters who were 10 years older than me were listening to Folk, John Prine, and John Denver. My brother was into a lot of hard rock. He loved a lot of 50’s music because there was a resurgence of that in the late 70’s early 80’s with like Stray Cats and stuff. He loved Eddie Cochran, anything from that sort of 50’s genre. When I was coming up it was like I am a young bass player so I liked a lot of modern music. I loved like Level 42 but then I was listening to stuff before my time like Yes and Rush.
Q I was going to say, were you forced to endure the 80’s music?
A Well some of the stuff that I got into in the 80’s wasn’t keyboard oriented. I had such trouble relating to the digital change over because I am string instrument player. I found a loss of mojo in the music. I still found paths of things that I fell in love with like I loved David Byrne from the Talking Heads.
A I liked the stuff like, “Once in a Lifetime.” To me that is a desert island tune. For me the 80’s was also a time of growth. You know by the time I was 5 I was already buying records?
Q When you were 5?
A Yes, when I was 5 years old I bought a Beatles record.
Q That is so cute. You took your ice cream money and went and bought a Beatles record?
A My grandmother was going to have her hair done and she took me to town and she gave me $5.00 and with that $5.00 I bought, “Meet the Beatles,” for $2.50, my first vinyl record.
Q And you remember this distinctly?
A I still have it.
Q No. It was so important to you?
A Oh yeah. My grandmother is in a picture above my stove. She is my Bubba. She won’t mind me saying this, even though she is listening. She was more like Yoda.
Q Your Bubba was more like Yoda?
A Well she was this mystic woman. You have to remember she came from the old country but she had this everybody’s Bubba feel to her. We grew up in a farming community so we went to each other’s houses by bike and it was great distances. Bubba was always there to talk to kids, hang out with them, she would make food. There would always be donuts and other things to eat. She would always have stories to tell. In a neighborhood when you are growing up aside from your own stuff that happens with your parents and all the moral things that you sort of come from, to have somebody like that in your community that feels that way about the kids and the kids get something from it, I feel so blessed. Even today my friends will come and say, “Man your Bubba was great.” My earliest experiences to music were because of her because she was singing all the time. I learned that early sense of self-expression and not being afraid through her.
At the same time by Dad was a politician. He was Mayor of our town for 30 some odd years. He was the first coalition candidate ever in Canada to be elected by the region which means they ousted the Liberal and the Conservative leaders and asked my Dad to run as an Independent. He did that for 4 years. For 14 years he was also the Police Commissioner and he was also Head of the Chairman of the Board of York region and started a number of things in the townships that today he gets little or no recognition for because it has been bypassed. The point is he was an incredible guy that was a people person. My Dad ran a cattle farm where he imported cattle into Canada. They were high production lean cow that grew twice as fast.
On top of that the man lived with Multiple Sclerosis for 20 years and then eventually he died of a brain tumor that we found out after surgery and after he passed away. He lived with it all of his life. It centers in the middle of the brain and it grew to a point where it was baseball size in the center of his brain. He should have died between the ages of one and five and he lived to be fifty-five years of age and did all that stuff. I also have him and her as well as my Mom and my brothers and sisters who are all incredible people in their own right as that kind of guidance. My Dad was very adamant about us being involved in politics. At the age of 7 I was canvassing doors. Hi my name is Edward Roman and I am here for the young conservative party. I am canvassing for Mr. Roman. Do you know about Mr. Roman?
Q It should have been the really YOUNG conservative party.
A I was the youngest in the whole party. Those politics extend into my music because of him.
Q I am getting such a kick out of you. You must be very entertaining with your students?
A I love my kids. I learn so much from my students. My students have made me a better musician. Some of my students from over a decade ago are now teaching.
Q I am looking at your tour page. Are you coming to the U.S?
A Well I have a radio station tour but many of them are in Canada.
Q You’ve just released, “Letters from High Latitudes,” and you are doing a radio tour?
A I was on the radio with the U.K. last week and also Singapore. I have an incredible fan base in Malaysia; over 50 thousand people follow me in Malaysia.
Q That is cool. Where is your album available?
A Right across the board from Amazon to iTunes. You can get it at the website. There is a store there where you can purchase not only the current record but my prior release.
Q Can people get it autographed?
A They can if they order it from me, I will sign it. When you place your order there is a little comment section and put your name down and I will definitely sign it. There will be tee shirts and some hats, some pins. I have a lunch box idea.
Q A lunch box, you kill me.
With that we began our goodbyes. I know I will talk to this man again. He was really so much fun to talk with and he has such an interesting mind. He just launched a new website at: www.EdRoman.net