Collective Soul Frontman Ed Roland On New Music And Giving Back

Collective Soul frontman Ed Roland puts on an annual benefit concert series for Atlanta community charities.
Credit Joseph Guay
Audio version of this story here.

Ed Roland is best known as the frontman and principal songwriter of rock band Collective Soul, but the Stockbridge, Georgia, native also helms the Americana band Ed Roland & The Sweet Tea Project, as well as his own solo career.

Ed Roland joined Lois Reitzes on “City Lights” to discuss his incredibly productive year, with no signs of slowing down.

After releasing their ninth studio album in 2015, Collective Soul embarked on a 160-show tour that took them to eight countries. Now, a little over a year later, Collective Soul is wrapping up work on their 10th studio album, due out some time in 2017. His Sweet Tea Project is also set to release an album in 2017, and Roland has also made a solo record. All of these albums mean more tours, and life on the road is notoriously rough.

So what’s the reward of touring in addition to the recording projects?

“As a kid, you struggle for so many years … nobody would show up to the shows except whoever I was dating at the time,” Ed said. “So when you have people show up, and they’re singing along with songs you created and see their appreciation – to me that’s the ultimate reward.”

Roland also brought his guitar to WABE and performed “Rule Number 1” – a new track off Collective Soul’s forthcoming album, and “She Said” from their 1999 record “Dosage.”

While his 10th annual “Ed Roland & Friends” concert series at Eddie’s Attic benefiting Atlanta charities is sold out, Ed announced on “City Lights” that he’ll be playing with his Sweet Tea Project on New Year’s Eve at The Vista Room in Decatur.

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