Headwaters Inspired Profile: Ed Roman


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This whole area is like a painting in real time

Ed Roman is a man of many talents, and most of them have some relationship to where he lives right on the border of Melanchthon and Shelburne. As an award-winning singer/songwriter, international performer, multi-instrumentalist, vegetable farmer and promoter of the Davis Dyslexia Association, Roman brings it all back to his physical location.

Location matters

“Where I live is so important to me. I need to be close to the community. Here, I can talk to the mayor if I want. I’m in touch with the earth and nature around me,” said Roman. “It inspires my writing and playing. I also like to grow my own food. It’s simple, self-sustaining and empowering. This helps define who I am.”

Growing up in rural Markham in the 1970s, Ed learned the joys of growing food in his parents’ gardens. When he moved to Shelburne in 2006, he continued the tradition.

“I got used to that idea. People are surprised by how much we grow,” said Roman. “I tell them, you can do this too and always have fresh food.”

The music keeps coming

Roman recently released his fifth album, Red Omen, produced with renowned producer, Michael Jack. Receiving much critical acclaimed, it drives home a magical mix of funky earthly-conscious and globally-aware messages.

“We built the recording studio and a pottery studio at the back of the house,” said Roman. “I can record my own music and other bands too. It’s another way of keeping close to the community, instead of going somewhere else to record the music I love.”

Roman’s dedication to his music is paying off. He’s an Artists Music Guild Award Nominee, a two-time IMEA Award nominee, an Akademia Awards Winner, and a two-time Indie Music Channel Award winner.

He’s performed at the Red Gorilla Music Fest during SXSW, The Millennium Music Conference, and SS Cape May.

For Roman, making music, being a participating member of the community and growing his own food are all intertwined in a holistic view of life. “This is how I want to live and being in the Headwaters lets me do that.”