Artist Interview: Gary Reed
Tell us about yourself and your music
Gary Reed’s music is an intriguing mix of fingerpicking guitar playing, reminiscent of the finest 1960’s blues guitar players, and heartfelt lyrics that tell tales of love, loss and longing in the best tradition of John Hiatt, Jerry Jeff Walker and other noted tunesmiths. Little wonder Reed was a regular player at New York’s Bitter End, Folk City, Café’ Wah and Max’s Kansas City during the ‘60s and ‘70s before moving to San Francisco and becoming a regular on that festival scene. He has opened for some great players such as: Jerry Jeff Walker, Billy Joel, Randy Newman, Joe Walsh and Jeremy Steig.
Talk to us more about your latest release
My current recording project is a departure from my previous efforts. I come from a strong vocal harmony background and enjoy writing vocal arrangements. So the new recordings feature a lot of vocal harmony and counterpoint. I also am putting more fun into my writing and being less serious about the underlying meaning of the words and making the songs fun to play and sing. The world is plenty serious. Lets have some fun with music.
What inspired you to write this release?
I was playing the chord changes on the guitar and was having fun with the groove. It had a swing and light feel. Next thing I knew I was singing the song with the backup vocals playing in my head.
Any plans to release a video?
Yes, I am working that now interviewing several video production groups.
Any plans to hit the road?
I very active performing locally. I do about 180 gigs a year.
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
This is somewhat of a problem for me. I have a broad interest in music and have been exposed to a wide variety. I enjoy playing them all. But my roots are in songs from the 60’s both American and British. I was influenced by the Beatles as song writers. My passion has been fingerstyle guitar based on the blues and New Age.
Who have you been listening to lately?
I’ve been listening a lot to Mark Knopfler, JJ Cale and some early Neil Young. Knopfler is a monster guitar player and I enjoy his finger style music.
Tell us about your passions
I still study music. I take functional harmony lessons and improvisation studies from a Berkeley graduate. I am a fingerstyle guitar player. It is a very challenging undertaking and it consumes me.
What else is happening next in your world?
More writing, performing, studying, recording and hopefully fun.
Thanks for an awesome interview, Gary!