Grammy Award winning guitarist Ed Gerhard has created a “guitar voice” of his own that is recognized and praised worldwide. Known for his gorgeous tone and compositional depth, Gerhard can move a listener with a single note. Scott Alarik of the Boston Globe said it best when he wrote “Gerhard does not write instrumentals. He writes songs only a guitar can sing.”
Since his acclaimed debut album Night Birds (chosen by Boston Globe Critics’ Poll, Top Ten Albums Of the Year) was introduced in 1987, Ed has been noticed far outside the borders of New England, where he moved from his native Philadelphia in 1977. Shortly after the album’s release, Windham Hill Records included Ed on its Guitar Sampler (Vol.1). One of the highlights of the over aquarter-of-a-million-selling Sampler, “The Handing Down” is the extended third movement of the Night Birds composition, “Suite.” His release Christmas was chosen as “…the season’s Best Folk Holiday Recording” by the Boston Globe. His 1993 release Luna, made many top ten lists, including Record RoundUp Critics’ Top Ten Albums of the Year. The superior audio quality of Luna lead both Neumann and Mackie Designs, two of the world’s most respected manufacturers of professional audio and recording equipment to “endorse” the recording.
Ed began playing guitar at 14, after marveling at Andrés Segovia on television. Later on, the music of guitarist John Fahey pointed him toward experimentation with open tunings and inspired him to begin composing guitar music of his own. As a result, what distinguishes Ed’s music is his inventive use of open tuning, which allows a variety of color from one composition to the next. Melodic but free from clichés, his playing goes in unexpected directions. Whether his precise, yet lush sound conveys classic sensibilities or inflections of blues, he gracefully imparts his own distinctive touch. Ed’s agility on his instrument shines through on every tune, but as Seacoast music critic Larry Etscovitz emphasizes, “never for mere technical show, always in the service of beauty.” “It isn’t about ‘virtuoso guitar playing’,” says Ed, “It’s the music that is important.”
“From the top of his silvery hair down to his electric blue socks, Gerhard throws himself completely into every song he plays,” says Gail Johnson of the Portsmouth Press. In each performance, whether it be 6-string, 12-string, slide guitar or Hawaiian Lap Steel, Ed blends his musical intensity and sly sense of humor with seasoned aplomb. After mesmerizing an audience with a song, he’ll crack them up with an improvised joke then have them lost in the depths of the next piece before they know it.
Ed has released his eighth CD “Sunnyland” in homage to his early blues heroes. He was awarded the coveted GRAMMY® for his inclusion on the CD Henry Mancini; Pink Guitar. Warner Brothers released Ed Gerhard; The Guitar Songbook and his guitar work can be heard on recordings by Arlo Guthrie and Jorma Kaukonen and in the Ken Burns film Mark Twain. He is featured on Guitar Fingerstyle; A Narada Collection and Masters of Acoustic Guitar; Narada Records. Ed is featured on the All-Star Guitar Night video and A Fingerstyle Summit with Martin Simpson and Adrian Legg by Alfred Publishing. Ed tours extensively in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Japan and Korea.
In a true collaboration of guitarist and guitar maker, Breedlove Guitars released the “Ed Gerhard Signature Model” guitar. The guitar has become one of Breedlove’s best selling guitars and won the “Player’s Choice Award” by Acoustic Guitar Magazine.