Born in Paducah, Kentucky, and raised in various locations like Pittsburg, PA and Calumet City, IL, Ed Hall at first wanted to play the accordion, mostly because he was crazy about a girl in his fourth grade class who played it. Then came the Beatles and every young boy wanted a guitar, but Ed had to spend the next two years pretending on a tennis racquet and borrowing guitars from friends, until he finally got one for Christmas while in the sixth grade. Ed soon discovered that it was not hard for him to teach himself to play by figuring out notes and chords off of records and the radio.
Then while working as a staff member at a Boy Scout camp after high school graduation, a friend talked him into buying some finger picks, and a whole new world of guitar playing opened up to him. Fingerpicking guitar became an obsession, learning as much about this style as he could. Ed’s early guitar influences were the Beatles, John Denver, Doc Watson, Chet Atkins, Stefan Grossman, and Ed’s guitar hero Gamble Rogers.
Ed’s approach to fingerstyle guitar has always been to try to arrange pieces for guitar that are not typically played on one guitar, difficult pieces, arranged as accurately as possible by ear. Instrumentals like The William Tell Overture, Hoedown from Rodeo by Copland, The Hungarian Rhapsody II by Liszt, and The Theme From Peter Gunn are now part of the classic arrangements in his repertoire
The pinnacle so far in Ed’s career came in September 1991 when he won the coveted National Fingerpicking Championships at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas.
Ed performed with Jeff Friedlander from 1973 to 2003 as the acoustic music duo “Friedlander and Hall”. Friedlander now resides in Denver, CO and he and Ed occasionally play together. Ed currently tours as a solo guitarist and plays guitar and banjo with the eclectic, Celtic, ragtime, swing, and folk band “Trillium”.