In observance of Father’s Day, a tribute to Ed “Tarheel” “Big Ed” Blanton; a legend of Skagit County music and Sprint Car Racing.
As I walked into the old Clear Lake Bank on December 2nd 2022, I thought I was going to watch some of my favorite local musicians play on a dark Autumn night. At the time, I didn’t realize how special that night was going to turn out.
The old Clear Lake Bank, owned by Jay Follman, has been transformed into a gathering spot for private parties which includes a stage, event lighting and a fantastic sound system that could easily rival any small Iive music venues. Walking around greeting old friends, meeting new people and marveling at the original, and in-tact, Clear Lank Bank safe and Teller Cage, I learn about the project that brought us all together that dark, cold evening; a soft release party for a new album entitled “Ed Blanton’s Guitar.” https://youtu.be/yakxYyfXGCo
Prior to his passing in 2015, Ed Blanton sold one of his guitars to Tony Wright (Bare Feet), a friend and band mate from the local gospel group Joyful Noise. Every time Tony had musician friends over, they all wanted to play Ed Blanton’s guitar. Over time, as Tony observed his friends playing different genres of music from the same guitar, an idea popped in his head; making a compilation album of Ed’s personal Skagit County music friends, as well as other notable Skagit County musicians, playing their own original songs on Ed’s guitar.
Tony reached out to Ed’s music friends and other notable Skagit County musicians, and they all enthusiastically agreed to participate in the project. They recorded their original songs using Ed’s guitar, and Tony compiled the recordings into an album titled “Ed Blanton’s Guitar.” The album would be a great way to honor Ed’s memory and showcase the local music talent in Skagit County.
The entire soft release party video is available to watch on YouTube and includes the artists playing their original songs on Ed’s guitar, stories and memories about Ed, ending with an emotional gifting of Ed’s guitar from Tony Wright to Ed’s son, Jeff Blanton. The evening was a fitting tribute to Ed’s legacy and his impact on the local music scene. https://youtu.be/yakxYyfXGCo
The “Ed Blanton’s Guitar” album is available to listen to on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon and YouTube. Local musicians include Jeff Blanton (Rollin Ridge), Jack Mattingly (Jack Mattingly and Whiskey Fever), Savanna Woods (Eden), Shane Gildnes (Fanny Alger), Weslee Jones (Lazy Acres), Dave McShea, Miguel Garibay (Pretty Much Nothing), Jesse Eldridge (Gin Gypsy), Josh Fichter (Bare Feet), Will Honea, David Joseph Welch and Jay Follman.
Watch the soft release party video:
Listen to the songs from the album:
Spotify: Ed Blanton’s Guitar