SUISUN CITY — Raised singing gospel music in his church, Darrell Edwards’ sound now blends everything from Stevie Wonder to Steve Winwood.
He lists his influences as everyone from Marvin Gaye to Paul McCartney. In between there’s Adele and Bonnie Raitt.
Edwards and his Heavy Weather Band are one the performers at Sunday’s “Send My Wife to Uganda,” a music fundraiser to help AIDS orphans.
The five-member group employs lead vocals from a male and female voice.
“A lot of groups don’t use female singers,” Edwards said. “It adds a lot to the emotional parts of the songs. That to me, is a beautiful thing.”
The Heavy Weather Band has five musicians, including Edwards. He has about a dozen musicians that can fill in or play when a show requires more, he said.
Musicianship is first and foremost. Personality is also important. The band members are pretty like-minded and have respect and loyalty for each other, Edwards said.
Edwards auditioned and interviewed his bandmates prior to signing them on as band members. They are Angel Anderson, John Brazil, Jay Jones and Robert “Hollywood” Jenkins.
Jenkins and Edward also perform solo in Napa and Solano counties.
“This Little Light of Mine” was the song Edwards cut his musical teeth on.
“I was afraid to sing,” he said. “I didn’t know I could sing.”
His mother had him practice the gospel tune and he joined the church choir when he was about 9.
He also plays guitars and keyboard.
Edwards draws from his innermost feelings when playing and writing music. He sees music as a way to communicate. It’s also therapeutic, he said.
“I can sit down and play or sing eight hours at a time,” he said.
The audience at Sunday’s fundraiser can expect music by Seal; Earth, Wind and Fire; and a medley of Donna Summer tunes. Edwards will bring out tunes from his EP released in 2013, including “MoPhun U Funk It Up.”
“We’re in it for the long ride,” Edwards said.
You can find the band’s music on Amazon and at www.reverbnation.com/darrelledwardsheavyweatherband.
Other bands slated to perform at Sunday’s fundraiser include Carlos Reyes, Used Blues Band, Gordon Rowland, Amber Snider, Syria T Berry and Izi Holokahi.
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.