Artist of the Month for October 2002: Dennis Roger Reed
Name: Dennis Roger Reed
Age: Older than 50, younger than 51
Town: San Clemente, CA
Hometown: Buena Park, CA
When did you start playing guitar?
Seriously at about 16, though I had tortured my parents for a few years
First guitar: I beat up a Harmony thin hollow electric and various Japanese solid bodies,
but my first real guitar was a little cherry wood Gibson acoustic when I was
Early Influences: Lots of local Southern California country musicians, the Beatles, the Byrds.
First gig: I honestly don’t remember, but played in bluegrass festival contests while
in college. My first real band, Dog in a Hole, played a few festivals, and
did a live concert on KPFK in Los Angeles in 1976.
Guitars and other stringed instruments you own: Goodall Traditional D mahogany, Martin kit Shenandoah D-35 acoustic guitar, DonMo bell brass Tricone, Donmo wooden acoustic/electric Tricone, 1930
National O Style, 1920’s Sterling mandolin, Donmo wooden reso mandolin,
Donmo bell brass reso mandolin, Charvel electric bass.
Favorite Guitar: Goodall Traditional D. What a cannon!
Your Style: Bluegrass/blues/country/acoustic folk rock roots mutant music.
How did you develop your style?
My dad was from the Ozarks, so I grew up listening to a wide variety of
country music, including bluegrass and western swing. I was in junior high
when the Beatles hit the US, and everything just metamorphosed from there.
My brother Don also plays and frankly is a vastly better guitarist than I,
so singing and songwriting seemed like a good niche.
Practice Regimen: Very sporadic… but I play gigs at least three weekends each month. The last
couple of years I’ve been trying to learn fingerstyle and open tunings… and
have attended the IGS West Coast schools.
Favorite Artist(s): Too numerous to mention… I like a lot of different folk, blues, bluegrass
and rock artists. See my CD for a long, long list of influences and favorite
Dennis Roger Reed has played for more than two decades on his own and with a
variety of bluegrass, folk, rock, and blues bands. Reed performed for five
years as the bass player and high harmony singer with the Andy Rau Band,
recording two CDs on Turquoise Records of Whitesburg, KY. He also currently
plays in the roots-rock band Blue Mama, and has recorded two CDs on
PlasticMeltdown Records of San Clemente, CA as a member of this band.
Reed writes, sings and plays guitar, mandolin and bass. He has been
featured in magazines such as Bluegrass Unlimited, and Acoustic Musician,
and was the subject of a feature article in Bass Player Magazine.
Reed has shared billing with talent such as the Nashville Bluegrass Band,
Peter Rowan, David Grisman, Tim O’Brien, Steve Gillette, Doug Kershaw, Rose
Maddox, J.J. Cale, Don Dixon and Marti Jones, Katy Moffatt, Ian Tyson, John
Mayall, Mick Taylor, Dave Davies, Joe Louis Walker, Roy BookBinder, Bo
Diddley, Little Richard and B.B. King. Reed has traveled and performed
throughout the US and Canada at folk, blues and bluegrass festivals,
including the High Sierra Festival, the Prescott Bluegrass Festival, the
Bitter Root Bluegrass Festival, the Napa Bluegrass Festival, Follows Camp,
the Tucson Folk Festival, the Doheny Blues Festival and many others.
Reed has done live radio concerts on KPFK in Los Angeles, KPCC in Pasadena
and KSBR in Mission Viejo. His recent solo recording, “Little King of
Dreams,” has garnered airplay throughout North America, Europe, South Africa
The Los Angeles Times John Roos stated “Reed’s work is rich in American
music, roaming freely among country, folk, bluegrass, swing, rock and the
blues.” Bluegrass Now printed “Dennis Roger Reed has an earthy quality to
his voice that helps his songs blend into the bluegrass format.” Bluegrass
Unlimited’s Jon Hartley Fox said “Dennis Reed is a singer with an ironic
delivery that is occasionally reminiscent of the late Steve Goodman.”
WORT-FM, Madison, Wisconsin, radio host Chris Powers had this to say: “Reed
’s music has a relaxed yet lively feel, backed by the pure clean sound of
American stringed instruments. His songwriting has an immediate appeal,
inventive and catchy, its message clear and plain-spoken.”
1991: Nickels & Dimes, The Reed Brothers, Lime Circle Records, out of print
1993: On the Horizon, The Andy Rau Band, Turquoise Records
1995: Different Man, The Andy Rau Band, Turquoise Records
1997: Saturday Night Suburbia, Blue Mama, PlasticMeltdown Records
2000: Little King of Dreams, Dennis Roger Reed, PlasticMeltdown Records
2001: Pacific Street, Blue Mama, PlasticMeltdown Records
The Andy Rau Band recordings are available at www.towerrecords.com and
www.theandyrauband.com and others.
The Blue Mama recordings are available at www.theorchard.com ,
www.amazon.com , www.cdnow.com , www.dwmmusic.com , www.bluemama.com and
The Dennis Roger Reed recording is available at www.dwmmusic.com ,
www.folkweb.com , www.tricopolisrecords.com , www.milesofmusic.com ,
www.theorchard.com , www.amazon.com , www.cdnow.com , and others. More info