A singer/songwriter based in Washington, D.C., whose sound blends folk, country, and soft rock influences, Ed Alkalay was born in Mountainside, NJ, and grew up in and around New York City. Alkalay began writing and singing songs while in high school, and after studying English and Philosophy at the University of New York at Albany, he began to pursue a career in music. In 1991, Alkalay began gigging around New York City, and in time he found enthusiastic supporters at Fast Folk Cafe, a venue operated by the editors of Fast Folk magazine, an audio periodical which regularly issues compilations featuring new acoustic artists (their discoveries include Shawn Colvin, Suzanne Vega, and Tracy Chapman). Alkalay not only landed regular spots on the Cafe's stage, but in 1995 his song "I Never Rode a Freight Train" was featured on their compilation CD New Faces in NYC. Alkalay's work has also earned citations from American Songwriter Magazine, who gave his song "A Two-Faced Lady and a Two-Timin' Man" an Honorable Mention in their 2001 Lyric Contest, and received a Second Place trophy in the Songwriter's Drive-In Songwriting Contest that same year. By 1996, Alkalay had relocated to Washington, D.C., after a spell in Boston, and that year he issued his first CD, Diamond Chain, on his own label. A follow-up, Turning Dorian Gray, followed in 2001. Along with his solo career, Alkalay performs in a roots rock band based in D.C. called Liquid Poodle, and also makes use of his talents as a musical therapist for the autistic. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi