Although not as well-known as his late brother Fred, Ed Holstein has been an important figure in Chicago’s folk music scene ever since folk first took root in the late 1960s. After getting their start in clubs like The Earl of Old Town and Somebody Else’s Troubles, Ed and his brothers Fred and Alan opened their own club, Holsteins’, which drew prominent performers until it closed in the late 1980s.
Considered one of the greatest finger-picking guitarists in Chicago, Ed has also composed songs for the likes of Bonnie Koloc, Better Midler, and Steve Goodman. Ed is also famous for his dry wit and sense of comedic timing, which punctuates many of his musical performances. Both Ed’s finger-picking skills and sense of humor were captured on video in 1993 by Skip Blumberg for the television show Chicago Slices, including this performance of his song “Walking Down the Line” on banjo.
This new edit was made possible through our Chicago Slices digitization project, supported by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, and supporters like you.
Watch the full video, including Ed’s walking tour of Andersonville, at Media Burn.