Dalton Roberts, columnist, Chattanooga Times Free Press
Ed Huey's blues roots reach back to hearing workers sing in the cotton fields across the road from his grandmother's house in Shreveport, Louisiana. While growing up in Shreveport, Ed listened to ration stations KOKA and KCIS, where they played Blues and Rhythm & Blues hits that were the cornerstone of early rock and roll.
When folk music became popular in the sixties, Ed's audience wanted to hear the pretty songs - "Please don't play anything controversial, we have to keep the customers happy. Nobody wants to hear that blues stuff. A little of that Dylan harmonica is OK, but not that blues..."
Teaching in Yazoo City, Mississippi, Ed met delta bluesman Son Thomas, who served as an artist in residence in Ed's music classes. Son gave Ed his first slide guitar lesson. After that, Ed was hooked. He made many trips to Bentonia, Mississippi to jam with Jack Owens and Bud Spires, Tommy Lee West, Jimmy "Duck" Holmes and Jacob Stuckey. Ed moved North to teach in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Hoping to keep the blues alive, he traveled back to Bentonia, after receiving a Lyndhurst Grant, to record songs and document conversations with these artists. It was a Blues Dream come true.
A few years later, Ed watched a powerful performance by acoustic blues legend John Hammond. One artist, one guitar, one harmonica. John had them dancing in the street! Ed thought, "I can do that!"