Just ask Suncoast Blues Society Member Ed Wright.
took two years worth of earnings from caddying to purchase his
first electric guitar, a '60 Fender Stratocaster, which he
still performs with today.
Born in 1950 in Bay Shore, Long Island, Ed
career in music playing tuba at age 8.
started playing guitar in 1963, learning folksongs from friends.
Asa teenager, he
got into the British invasion which introduced him to his
own nation's blues heritage pioneered by such artists as Chuck Berry, Willie Dixon, and McKinley Morganfield.
Ajob at the public library where he
had the task of cleaning the vinyl records gave him the chance to listen to those names of artists he
had been curious about.
After that, he
joined various garage bands as a teen and began playing the bar scene as soon as he
turned 18, giving him the exposure and opportunity to learn all kinds of music.
also began repairing guitars along the way and eventually, after completing a college Art degree in 1972, began earning a living as a guitar repairman.
courrently does repairs at Roydon Music in Brandon and... out of his
In 1980 Ed
first all blues band, "The Almost Brothers Blues Band".
According to Ed
, "We played up and down Long Island inventing our own blues scene, and spawning some blues band and blues players along the way.
One of his
fondest memories is opening for Albert Collins, which he
considered a real treat and privilege.
recalls, "I have never heard such a huge, big, beautiful sound from a guitar, nor seen such an entertainer.
had the entire audience in the palm of his
Since arriving in the Bay area in 1986, Ed has shared the stage with lots of great local players--Kim Harpo, Ben Sudano, Dean Germaine, Sarasota Slim, Mike Chavers, Robert Parker, Henry Burke, Rock Bottom, Sandy Atkinson, T.C.Carr, Ron Gerber, Jeff Corth, Billy Pike, Jaime Richardson, Dwan Martini, Don Cox, Josh Nelms, Tom Bell, Damon and Aaron Fowler, P.W.Fenton and Nirto Bozeman.
In addition to writing songs, playing the guitar, and repairing guitars, Ed
also finds time to give lessons on guitar, bass, harmonica, and slide guitar at Rodon and at his
has also participated in a Blues in the Schools program for second and third grad classes at Essrig School
in the Carrolwood area.
"It was fabulous, the kids were so lively and funny.
I let them play my guitar and they wrote me the most endearing and funny thank you notes.
also loves playing at his
Church, the First Missionary Baptist Church of Seffner, where he
says, "the music is filled with spirit and we rock."
A natural pairing soon occured when Ed
hooked up with Tampa's native-son Damon Fowler after Damon heard him play at Albi's.
For nascent blues fans as well as veteran blues audiences, Ed Wright
is a refressing act with multiple musical talents.
puts it, "I just love blues music and will play it on bass, or guitar, or harp as long as I am standing, but the sceen is always changing and blues music waxes and wanes in popularity.