Born in Worcester, Massachusetts on September 26, 1944, Ed Vadas had just begun his life when the music of the day was thrust upon him by his three teenage sisters. His brother was in the service and left his, fairly hip for the time, record collection of prime 78’s behind for Ed to cut his teeth on, and play. Years later Ed realized he was listening and spinning swing, county and folk tunes from the 30s and 40s. From age two till five, he would act as DJ for his three sisters for hours while they cut a rug in the living room. When, in later years, folks would ask Ed how he came to have this extraordinary feel for blues music, he referred back to his brother’s record collection subliminally pounding those grooves and feels into his sub-conscious as a possible answer.
Although he always loved music, especially the “B” sides of hit records and roots music of all kinds, Ed never played an instrument until his senior year in high school. Never thinking he could be good enough, It was the folk song revival of the early, pre British invasion, 60’s that really propelled Ed into wanting to play an instrument. He used to go down to the public library after school and listen to the Library of Congress recordings of American Folk and Blues. Ed would bring songs to friends who played various instruments and attempt vocal renditions of the roots music he recalled.
Sometime in 1962, Ed saw Fritz Richmond play washtub bass with the Charles River Valley Boys at the Hatch Memorial Shell in Boston. The next day he bought the pieces and assembled one for himself, six months later he discovered the 5 String Banjo, and six months after that, the guitar. Bob Dylan erupted on the scene and Ed bought a harmonica and rack.
In 1963, Ed began a four-year stint in the Air Force. After basic and technical training, he found plenty of time to hone his musical skills. He first performed at an open hoot at the Cellar in Levittown NJ. If you played three songs, you got your admission back and a coffee. Ed performed to no applause. One guy said “Don’t worry…at least you have guts!” Ed continued to perform and achieved measures of success with each try.
1966 was an interesting year for many reasons as Ed was sent to Viet Nam for a year. Too many things occurred that year to relate here, but musically Ed hit a milestone. He entered and won a Talent Contest and was transferred to the Army to perform over a hundred shows for mostly forward area troops whose location prevented USO shows to safely perform. It was an unbelievable experience for one who was never in a band or a war.
Soon after returning home in 67, Ed and some old friends formed the “Billingsgate Blues Band”, with Ed as bass and vocals. He then gained more experience by playing a succession of solo folk gigs, then the “Off White Blues Band”, “Big City Blues Band”, "Electic Blues Band", and the "Ambrosia Blues All- Stars" as front man and harp player. More solo stuff and then the “Music and Madness Trio”, a sort of hip Jug band with humor. Then back to more solo stuff, followed by the “12 bar Symphony” Blues, Roots, humor and a bouquet of tunes penned by Ed. Followed by more solo and some stand-up and skit comedy.
Interspersed throughout the intersection of the 70’s and 80’s, he obtained bit parts in a few movies; “The Money Pit”, “Svengali”, “Nothing Lasts Forever” and “Gilda Live”.
In the early 80’s,with Ed writing many of the songs, arranging others, while performing all the duties of bandleader and manager, the “Fabulous Heavyweights” emerged as his most successful band and continues to this day.
The recording studio has become a milieu of comfort for the big guy. Recording seven albums of his materials. As a record producer, he has also done well, producing his last four albums, co-producing the other three, and producing three CDs for the band “Tagyerit”, one of which was selected as one of the top ten albums by Guitar Player Magazine the year it was released. He has also produced three other CDs, two by the legendary blues keyboardist Steven Miller. Ed has also been called in to produce odd tracks on various other CDs.
His latest reinvention of himself is twofold... one is the solo CD Eatin Time. Ed wanted to make an album that reflects the "now" of the blues, that moment of time that makes the music come alive. That "now" in Ed's mind is not a slick studio copy, perfect in everyway, it is gritty and real and sounds and feels great!
His other acoustic project is a duo with Sue Burkhart, Ameri-mf-cana. It is an amalgm of original tunes and tunes both artists have loved, but never performed. Just about every genre is fair game and they love it...check out their site for more info ( www.ameri-mf-cana.com )
Approaching 63 years, Ed is still ready to travel and perform in solo, duo, trio, and quartet formats. Ed is also available to teach, lecture, participate in forums, and conduct workshops.