Ed Gerhard knows good music when he hears it. He was just 14 when he caught Andres Segovia on TV and set his sights on becoming a guitar player. Later, John Fahey became his mentor and chief influence, and you don’t get any better than that.
Gerhard, who will play his steel string guitar at Guitar Gallerie Saturday, has learned his lessons well: His latest CD, “Luna,” is packed with the kind of tasteful fireworks that mark the work of both Segovia and Fahey.
He’s a superb technician who doesn’t allow style to get in the way of a strong melody or a well-developed song. By using open tunings, he manages to create a complex of shades and intonations and, though he’ll appear solo here, Gerhard incorporates a rhythm section into much of “Luna” and even colors some tracks with a trumpet.
Gerhard is known as a personable entertainer with a quick wit. Evidence of his sense of humor shows up on record, as well, in such pieces as “Postcard from Limbo.”
Gerhard often works with guitarist Bill Mize and recently cut tracks for Arlo Guthrie’s upcoming disc. Other collaborators include Bill Morrissey and the novelist Cormac McCarthy.
Gerhard appears at the Guitar Gallerie Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets are available at Guitar Gallerie, 421 W. Riverside, and are $10, $7 for students, $5 for kids 12 and under.
Gerhard will also conduct a workshop at 1 p.m. Sunday at Guitar Gallerie. For details, call 747-1083.