It must have been like that in 1998. I had to go to Nashville for a music magazine for the Summer-NAMM. A musical instrument fair. Fairs are known to be exhausting – but sometimes also enriching.

Especially the evening program has its charm with its many concerts. Of course, this also applied to this industry meeting in the Music City USA. One of the shows took place in the historic Ryman Auditorium. In this special location, which used to be a church and which still exudes this certain spiritual aura with its venerable architecture, an evening with several acoustic guitarists took place – which absolutely did justice to the festive setting. One of these silent stars was the Pennsylvania-based fingerstyle and lap steel specialist Ed Gerhard. A gray-haired, good-natured hippie who has been one of the best in his field since the late 80s; he even received a Grammy in 2004. But he also deserved an award for his performance in the 1998 Ryman. Especially for his incredibly sensitive and virtuoso interpretation of the Scottish tradition “The Water Is Wide”. Almost the entire folk scene dared to touch the piece, written in 1906 – from James Taylor to Mark Knopfler to Bob Dylan. Ed Gerhard (also) proved during this performance that the song can also touch the hearts of the listeners as an instrumental. Anyway, I was so moved by it that I had to buy his CD immediately.