James Reid Band
The two principals of the James Reid Band, singer/songwriters James “JP” Connell and Reid Spencer, started performing together at Yale in the late 1960s. In the spring of 1970, they dropped out of school, moved South as part of the band Milkweed and toured the Southeast. After they recorded an album of original music in 1972, the band broke up, and shortly thereafter, Connell and Spencer lost track of each other for 40 years. A chance Internet search by one of Connell’s friends brought about a reunion in 2014, and the two musicians soon took up where they left off and began a collaboration that became the James Reid Band. Top musicians from both ends of the country joined them to record the CD “Breakfast at Sunset,” which was released in early 2016. The band played a pre-race show at Kentucky Speedway in 2018 and a pair of benefit concerts on Orcas Island in Washington State before beginning work on their second CD, “Tales Tall and Tender,” which is scheduled for release in late 2019.
Reid Spencer is a founding member and bassist/guitarist for the band Milkweed. It was his song, “Granma Country (Let Me Down Easy)” that showed up on an Internet search and lead to the formation of the James Reid Band. Spencer also played guitar, saxophone and sang with the show band Karen & the Pistons, which toured New England in the mid-1970s and featured occasional appearances of Michael Bolton as a guest singer.
James “JP” Connell joined Milkweed as lead singer in May 1970. Two months later, the band opened for The Allman Brothers at the Love Valley Pop Festival in North Carolina. With the departure of Stormin’ Norman Zamcheck in 1971, Connell took over keyboard duties for Milkweed. In 2014, Connell released a CD of his own compositions titled “Early Lessons,” which features multi-instrumentalist Martin Lund, who fills the same role with the James Reid Band.
While with Milkweed, Connell and Spencer shared stages with The Allman Brothers, Jimmy Buffett, Jerry Jeff Walker, John Hammond Jr., Wet Willie and Al Kooper, among others.
The James Reid Band
James “JP” Connell — songwriter, lead vocals
Reid Spencer — songwriter, lead vocals, acoustic and electric guitar
Mat Kastner — lead guitar
Martin Lund –keyboard, woodwinds
Brian Kirk — drums
Dan O’Brien — bass
Brian “Boss” Hogg — tenor and soprano saxophone
Lauren Schloemer — violin, vocals
Susan Hull — vocals
Myke Connell — rhythm guitar, vocals
Steve Alboucq — trumpet
Oliver Groenewald — trumpet
Joe Boucher — trombone
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