About Me

 

 



I am a violinist, guitarist, singer, songwriter, composer, and teacher currently residing in Bellingham, WA. I perform original music solo around the area. I am also a violinist with the Skagit Symphony and a guitarist with the cover band Sucker Punch. In addition to performance, I teach violin and guitar to students of all ages and abilities in my home studio.


My formal music education began at the tender age of 10 when I began to study the violin with a private instructor, Debbie Edwards. Soon after I began playing in a youth orchestra and singing in a youth group at my grade school. I was also involved in several musicals and had my first on-stage experience. During high school, I joined the orchestra and sang in several choirs. It was also during this time that I picked up the guitar and started learning through self-instruction. At the University of Illinois, I auditioned for and joined the Concert Choir under the direction of Dr. Chester Alwes. Also during my college years I developed a strong aptitude for guitar and I began to write my own original music.

After graduating from U of I, I lived and worked in Chicago for the next five years. I started a band (Certain Company) that gigged regularly and played a healthy mix of covered and original tunes. My main roles included lead and rhythm guitar, vocals, songwriting, and organizational leadership. About a year or so after starting Certain Company, I recorded and independently released my first solo album (Folklore Troubadour, 2008). After our second bassist left to pursue an advanced degree in composition, Certain Company dissolved after releasing its only self-titled album (Certain Company, 2009).

The original bassist for Certain Company formed a group with a mutual friend, and we eventually formed an all-originals band named Lions and Lanterns. After a year of cramped practices, this group would only play one live concert. But we also recorded and released an album (And Longing, 2011). Shortly before this album was complete, I released a second solo album (Lightbulb Laserbeam, 2011). I then moved to South Korea in the summer of that year.

I went to Korea without a single instrument to my name, and yet within three weeks of my arrival I was playing bass for a classic rock cover band (Big-Boned Rhythm). Although the sound was good and the gigs were regular, I was not completely happy on bass or the direction of the band. I was gifted a violin for my birthday, and before long I was the fiddler for a folk outfit in Korea (The Hunger Tree). In my last year in Korea, we performed at over 70 gigs and recorded our material in studio. I also played in a string quartet and the orchestra with the Camarata Music Company. Additionally, I played with numerous independent musicians, including Michael Beeghely, Jennifer Waescher and Cael Anton.

While playing with multiple bands and artists, I also crafted a new style of solo performance which utilized multiple instruments, effects, and a looping station. During my final month in the country, I recorded an EP, which is my third solo recording (Spruce Goose, 2013). After returning to the States in March of the same year, I then independently setup my first solo tour, which included 12 shows between Chicago and New York. A friend of mine who was involved with a radio show brought me on the program for an interview and also an in-studio performance.  I packed up the gear and moved to Bellingham in May of 2013.

I met a filmmaker, Christopher Coombs, through a Craigslist ad and I was then introduced to the director of the Bellingham Theater Guild’s production of “Sweeney Todd.” I joined the pit on violin, and was introduced to a number of other great Bellingham musicians. I began playing with the Skagit Symphony in January of 2014. I am also studying classical violin with Prof. Walter Shwede, who is the head of the string department at Western Washington University. In addition to performance, I am also teaching violin and guitar.


Influences:
 
Paul Simon, The Beatles, Sufjan Stevens, Mozart, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray, Zepplin, Black & Counting Crows, Beck, Decembrists, White Stripes, Dylan, Dave Matthews, Incubus, John Mayer, Deathcab, Spin Doctors, Jack Johnson, Tom Petty, Shins, Eddie Vetter, Sondheim, Sublime, Dispatch, Blind Melon...
 
 
Reviews:

"Greg Reed has had an interesting path that led him to his latest solo effort entitled Spruce Goose. Reed’s musical endeavors started at the age of ten when he started studying violin. As the years progressed he joined choirs as well as orchestras but it wasn't until college that he began to have an interest in creating his own music. 

After college he moved to Chicago where he started a band called Certain Company that gigged regularly around the city. Five years later he moved to South Korea where he continued to play with bands such as The Hunger Tree while also working on solo material and teaching kindergarten. During his last month in Korea he recorded Spruce Goose and eventually made his way to Bellingham, WA where his still makes music and teaches.

Spruce Goose is a five-song EP that combines various genres like folk, rock, and pop to create a solid album. The songs are well written and the music is varied, as the instrumentation is rich, bursting with orchestral instruments like violin, acoustic guitar, drums and bass. Reed sings with a childlike innocence that is often confronted with triumphant vocal passages that brim with confidence.

The first song on the EP “Leaving Chicago” is obviously about his trip to South Korea. It is a song about revival, appreciating the past and looking forward to the future as he sings “That’s right, I’m leavin the thought of leaving behind / I’m past past-due on time, and time’s a-wastin.” The song bursts with cathartic energy that is grounded in progressive folk music and has elements of rock. ”Reborn” is a solid song with the catchiest lead guitar on the album while “Made Criminal” didn't leave as much of an impression on me. 

The EP ends with “Faith of the Sun,” which was the highlight of the album. His violin work as well as his bass work is quite impressive in this one. I appreciated the Simon and Garfunkel vibe throughout the song.

Reed is a talented musician. Spruce Goose  isn’t a perfect set of songs but there are some inventive moments on this EP you will not want to miss."

"Inspiring such comparisons as Andrew Bird and The Barenaked Ladies, Spruce Goose is at times pure folky goodness, speaking of love of home in his ode Leaving Chicago and pleading with us to live as one, and let love in our hearts in tracks like Faith of the Sun, and at times reminiscent of classic rock with tight guitar licks and expert instrumentation, specifically in Reborn. Reed’s classical violin training is evident in his string compositions mixed throughout the EP, particularly lovely in Made Criminal, making this more than just your average indie EP. The strength of Reed’s songs are in his well crafted musical stories, building intensity both with rhythmic guitar sections, swelling violin tones, clever and tender lyrics and energetic vocals, then bringing it down just enough to ready you for the next moment. The sound is full, the pace satisfying and it definitely leaves the listeners ready for the full-length album.”

Venues I've Played At:
 
Chicago
Argo Tea
Awake Cafe
 Betty's Blue Star Lounge
Boondocks
Elbo Room
Ballydoyle
Code
Chicago Ale House
Democracy Burlesque
Emerald Isle
eSkape
Fizz
Gorilla Tango Theater
Goose Island
Let Them Eat Chocolate!
Lilly's
Metal Shaker
Martyr's
Mahoney's Bar & Grill
Silvie's Lounge
Slugger's
Spaulding Ave.
Strawdog Theater
N Spaulding
Tin Lizzie's
Underground Lounge
US Beer Co

South Korea
Bar Carmen (Hangbeoncheon, Seoul)
Camarata (Hangbeoncheon, Seoul)
Canteen @ VFW (Hangbeoncheon, Seoul)
Club Bambora (Bundang)
Club TA (Hongdae, Seoul)
Culcom Cultural Center (Seohyeon, Bundang)
Dolce (Cheonan)
Dublins (Bundang)
D.G.B.D.s (Hongdea, Seoul)
Freebird (Hongdae, Seoul)
Moonnight (Iteawon, Seoul)
Phillies (Hangbeoncheon, Seoul)
Stompers (Iteawon, Seoul)
Pub 201 (Bundang)
Rocky Mt. Tavern (Iteawon, Seoul)
Strange Fruit (Seoul)
The Orange Tree (Hangbeoncheon, Seoul)
Traveler's (Bundang)
Woodstock (Iteawon, Seoul)

Elsewhere
Arlene's Grocery (NYC)
Benchwarmers (Chanute, KS)
Eddie's Trackside Grill (Monroe, WA)
Jammers (Bemidji, MN)
The Corner Tap (West Point, IA)
The Honeymoon (Bellingham, WA) 
 
Media:
 
Cincinnati Museum Center 'My Museum Center in a Minute'  - original song "Shake"
PursueThePassion.com DVD- original song "Land of the Sun"
After These Messages MTV Pilot - violin
Dr. Horrible Sing-Along Blog: Lady Laday - composition, guitar, vocals