Ed Alkalay

Ed Alkalay

BandRockSinger/Songwriter

Original roots rock, alt-country, country-blues sound with deep, strong vocals, and ringing guitar-heavy riffs.

Biography

"The best painters never waste a stroke, the best directors never waste a scene, and Ed Alkalay's way with words places him in the upper echelon of modern bards."
-Justin Kownacki, Splendidezine.com

In 2009, Ed released his 3rd CD, I Hate You, of original roots music. The songs range from rock ("You") to alt-country ("Texas") to blues ("One More Time") to comedy ("That Girl's Gonna Make a Woman Out of Me") to roots rock ("I Hate You"). A few years ago, Ed moved to the White Mountains of northern New Hampshire where he currently lives a quiet life with his family. He continues to write music and record, and he performs live occasionally. A summary of his musical career breaks down as follows:

2005 to present: These days Ed focuses most of his musical hours on songwriting and recording. Ed's 3rd CD, I Hate You, has just been released. He is currently composing songs based on poetry of W.B. Yeats, Edgar Allen Poe, and Dorothy Parker, among others.

1998 to 2004: Ed was very active in the Washington, D.C./Virginia music scene, writing and performing original roots music as a solo artist, with his band, Liquid Poodle, and as a duo with talented singer/guitarist Jack Gregori. Ed released his 2nd CD, Turning Dorian Gray, in 2002. His song "Texas" was featured on the Focus Compilation of songwriters in the DC/Virginia/Maryland area. While living in D.C., Ed also studied composition with Anthony Stark, and has composed several art songs, a fugue for string orchestra, and a piece for string quartet.

1993 to 1998: During these years, Ed lived and performed in New York City as a solo artist and with musical partner Pat Almonrode. He was active in the Fast Folk songwriting group in New York City and his song "I Never Rode a Freight Train" was included on the Fast Folk CD "New Voices in NYC". Ed also released his first CD, Diamond Chain, during this period.

1991-1992: While getting started as a songwriter, Ed performed as a street musician in and around Boston, and performed regularly at the clubs and original music bars and coffee houses in the Boston area.

Ed's music influences range from rock, country-blues, and folk to classical. Over the past fifteen years, Ed has performed at many venues along the east coast, and has ventured inland as far as Nashville to perform his original brand of roots music. His songs have received airplay all over the world and he has received numerous songwriting awards.

Ed is also an accomplished instrumentalist - garnering praise for his deft instrumental ability on electric and acoustic guitar and banjo. His voice has been described as having a "bottomless range" and has drawn comparisons to John Gorka, Johnny Cash, and Brad Roberts of the Crash Test Dummies.

THE D.C. PERIOD, 1998-2004 - TURNING DORIAN GRAY

In 1998, Ed re-located to Washington, D.C. Fresh with new songs, and a desire to further expand his musical styles, Ed emerged as one of the most original writers, and eclectic and entertaining performers in the D.C. music scene. Ed was the primary songwriter for the roots rock band "Liquid Poodle" who were described as having "[a]mazingly ... catchy tunes that ... make you want to speed down an empty Kansas highway at 2 a.m. tapping the steering wheel for hours." (www.leftoffthedial.com). Ed also wrote and performed as a solo artist and with guitarist/singer Jack Gregori in clubs and venues all over the greater D.C. area.

In 2002, Ed was selected to perform at the Nashville New Music Conference. He has also received citations from American Songwriter Magazine, which gave his song "A Two Faced Lady and a Two-Timin' Man" honorable mention in its 2001 Lyric Contest (May/June 2001 issue), and considered his song "Texas" noteworthy in its 2002 Lyric Contest (May/June 2002 issue). In addition, he finished in Second Place in the Songwriter's Drive-In Songwriting Contest for "Turning Dorian Gray." (March 2001). Ever seeking to cultivate his skills, Ed began studying composition with Professor of Composition Anthony Stark at the Benjamin T. Rowe School of Music at Catholic University. Since that time, he has composed a song cycle based on Dorothy Parker poems, a Fugue in G minor for String Orchestra, and a Processional for String Quartet. The Fugue for String Orchestra was performed at Catholic University in April 2002, and the Song Cycle was performed at the Benjamin T. Rowe School of Music in April 2003. You can listen to his classical compositions on this site.

In 2002, Ed released his critically acclaimed CD, Turning Dorian Gray, which contains 11 original songs that have gained high praise from publications all over the country.

"Alkalay invests more narrative into each song than I thought possible, forcing me to check the runtime of almost every track, unwilling to believe that the story I just heard could have been told so economically and yet with such detail. The best painters never waste a stroke, the best directors never waste a scene, and Ed Al

Lyrics

Grumble

Written By: Ed Alkalay

When I get upset I don’t get angry
I’ve learned to control myself
When I get upset I don’t get angry
When I get angry I don’t shout anymore

I just grumble
When I get upset I don’t shout anymore
I just grumble

They drive me crazy these crazy people
I lock the door and stay inside
They drive me crazy these crazy people
I lock the door and close myself in

And just grumble
Lock the door and close myself in
And just grumble

‘Cause I’ve learned in this life you’ve got to roll with the blows
You can’t get ‘em get to you baby
You got to live your life you’ve got to live it well
Don’t let ‘em get to you just
Grumble

When I get upset I don’t get angry
I’ve learned to control myself
When I get upset I don’t get angry
When I get angry I don’t shout anymore

‘Cause I’ve learned in this life you’ve got to roll with the blows
You can’t get ‘em get to you baby
You got to live your life you’ve got to live it well
Don’t let ‘em get to you just
Grumble

You

Written By: Ed Alkalay

Now I’m a prisoner I know
I crossed the bridge of sighs a long time ago
Now I’m down in this dungeon where the darkness bleeds
Through the walls from the veins of the city streets
And I live for everything I’ll never know

Now I’m just lost in the sea of my loneliness
Tossed through the means of my bitterness
Holding out hope for all the dreams I missed
All on account of you

The streets of Venice fill my mind
The sun on the water with you by my side
Now my life my world my happiness
Are buried in this tomb of darkness
And I live for everything I left behind

Don’t want to be lost in the sea of my loneliness
Tossed through the means of my bitterness
Holding out hope for all the dreams I missed
All on account of you

Now I’m a prisoner I know
I crossed the bridge of sighs a long time ago
Now I’m down in this dungeon with the rats my friends
And I’m never gonna see the light of day again
‘Cause when I saw you with him on that fateful day
My blood ran cold my life slipped away
And my mind ran swiftly to my steely blade
And I faced you both in the streets that day
And the water turned red through my passionate rage
Now I’m trapped here forever with my bitter fate

Forever lost in the sea of my loneliness
Tossed through the means of my bitterness
Holding out hope for all the dreams we missed
All on account of you

I Hate You

Written By: Ed Alkalay

I don’t know where the Palestinians should have their own home land
I don’t know if I were black whether I would hate the white man
I don’t know if Dante got it right about sinners
Hell I don’t even know what I want for dinner

I’m always mixed up so often confused
I’ll admit I’m not the brightest light in the room
But there’s one thing I know if positively true
Yes if there’s one thing I’m sure of it’s that I hate you

I hate you I hate you
I’ll admit I’m not the brightest light in the room
But if there’s one thing I’m sure of it’s that I hate you

I don’t know if I were poor whether I would steal and rob
I don’t know how ever I ever hold a steady job
I don’t know why my mind is always on vacation
I’m a poster boy for low expectations

I’m always mixed and misinformed
I’ll admit I’m not the sharpest tack on the board
Though my lack of education makes me ignorant and crude
I’ve got a PhD in hating you

I hate you I hate you
Though my lack of education makes me ignorant and crude
I’ve got a PhD in hating you

There is no moral to this song
No secret message ‘bout right and wrong
It’s really quite simple no need to postulate
This song is about you who I hate

I hate you I hate you
It’s really quite simple no need to postulate
This song is about you who I hate

Lumberjack

Written By: Ed Alkalay

My father was a lumberjack
Can you imagine growin’ up with someone like that
A lumberjack

Yeah if I could be a movie star
A senator a billionaire a great guitarist
If I cured the world of all disease
My father’s shadow would still laugh at me

And I will spend my whole life trying to live up to that man

My father was a lumberjack
So he’d always do what he pleased
I used to tell all my friends my daddy is a lumberjack
So you better not mess with me

Well if I were a general or a peace activist
An athlete a writer or a great physicist
If I ruled the world for eternity
My father’s shadow would still laugh at me

And I will spend my whole life trying to live up to that man

When I was born my father named me Jack
‘Cause he knew I’d only be half the man that he was
Yeah my father was a lumberjack
And me I’m just jack

And I will spend my whole life trying to live up to that man
(When your father is a lumberjack, there ain’t no way that you can live up to that)

My father was a lumberjack
My father was a lumberjack
My father was a lumberjack
And I’m just jack

Another Man's Crown

Written By: Ed Alkalay

Look down, stare at the ground
Everyone thinks I’m crazy
People pass by, stare to the sky
Rich man spouts I’m lazy

Oh no I’m going down for the last time
Wondering why there’s no one who

Sees me and my life crumbling down
And why one man’s hat is another man’s crown

Sleep light through the city night
Hoping they think I’m crazy
Every sound echoes through the ground
Dreams are dark and hazy

Oh no I’m going down for the last time
Wondering why there’s no one who

Sees me and my life crumbling down
And why one man’s hat is another man’s crown

A hungry life frees chains that bind
I guess I must be crazy
A wounded beast on the city street
Rich man cries “Please save me”

Oh no I’m going down for the last time
Wondering why there’s no one who

Sees me and my life crumbling down
And why one man’s hat is another man’s crown

Texas

Written By: Ed Alkalay

Well if I lived in Texas I would carry a gun
I would drive a truck I would take on anyone
I would wear snakeskin boots baby you’d know who I am
But because I’m not from Texas, I’m just a little man

And if I had a girl who come from Texas
She would be so disappointed in me
In so many many greatly embarrassing ways
She’d say I can tell you’re not from Texas you’re such a little man

I don’t know no Texas two-step I take one at a time
I don’t live for high school football ‘though I do not know why
I ain’t no oil baron so I’m filled with despair
‘cause the only oil I got is the oil in my hair

And if I were accused of murder in Texas
They would send me off with a bang
No waitin’ hesitatin’ no I wouldn’t be late for the show
They’d turn the party music loud pull the switch
And watch me glow

I don’t know no Texas two-step I take one at a time
I don’t live for high school football ‘though I do not know why
I ain’t no oil baron so I’m filled with despair
‘cause the only oil I got is the oil in my hair

If you could judge a man by the size of the state that he comes from
You would take one look at me and say boy you must come from Rhode Island
You’re surely not from Texas
You’re such a little man

Discography

I Hate You
Release Date: January 2009

(1) Another Man's Crown
(2) You
(3) I Hate You
(4) Lumberjack
(5) Surrounded By Alone
(6) Night Bound Train
(7) Grumble
(8) Texas
(9) Bob Jones
(10) One More Time
(11) That Girl's Gonna Make a Woman Out of Me
(12) Speed
(13) To Fit Me

Capitol Acoustics Vol. 3
(Compilation of DC area songwriters),
Focus Presents
Release Date: 2003

(1) Texas

Turing Dorian Gray
Release date: January 2002

(1) One Last Minute
(2) A Better Version of Me
(3) Turning Dorian Gray
(4) Marie
(5) With the Devil in My Band
(6) A Hundred Years From Now
(7) A Quiet Ticking
(8) Rovin' Gambler
(9) The Deal's Gone Down
(10) The Blind Man
(11) A Two-Faced Lady and a Two-Timin' Man
(12) A Dozen Roses

Diamond Chain
Release date: January, 1996

(1) Straight Walkin' Man
(2) I Never Rode a Freight Train
(3) Sarah's Troubled Mind
(4) Diamond Chain
(5) One More Tune
(6) The Fountain and the Rain
(7) Understandably Confused
(8) Sampson
(9) Takin' Chances
(10) The Cuckoo
(11) Central Park
(12) Backdoor Dan
(13) Breezes
(14) It
(15) Gonna Be a Long Time

Fast Folk Musical Magazine -
New Voices NYC (Vol. 8 #4)
Fast Folk Magazine
PO Box 938, Village Station
NYC, NY 10014
Release date: October, 1995

(13) I Never Rode a Freight Train

WCVF Spring Music Search
Release Date: May, 1985

(13) Outlaw