I'm a huge fan of live music. With studio recording, you get all the precision that technology allows along with multiple instruments, and all the other benefits of multiple takes. But I still love the raw experience of live music. That's where I was able to see the forever-calm and laid-back presence of Mick Reed as he sings and leads the band through his original compositions with his country twang vocals. As he lays out story after story of the sad and lonely life of a cowboy, I can detect the smile of a man who loves doing this and quite frankly, ma'am, he is perfectly happy to play to a crowded room or sit on his front porch chewing on a wad of tobacco and contemplating the wide-open range. Even when his band takes a break, he continues to sing...he's just so laid-back, nothing frazzles this urban cowboy.
His lyrics are so visual....and then it hits me. Of course: his day job is video producer. He's a visual guy, he percieves the world through his eyes and his imagination. And that's the common denominator of his songs: his lyrics paint rich and vivid images like these from a track on the new album, "A Fool at the Other" that he sings with the help of Madeliene Peyroux on the CD.
You got me staying up til the sun comes up
And there's nothing left but ashes in this coffee cup
You got me playing solitaire
'Til I pull my hair
But its more than that. It's that he's so damn convincing, this new dad who lives in a suburb of Connecticut, who seems as much at home in the midst of city life as he seems to be on the range...or at least in this wonderfully divey wide open blues bar in the middle of Springfield, on a chilly Tuesday night with it's oversized Indian motorcycle sign overlooking the pool players and the roughly painted mural of hallowed bluesmen.
For more information on Mick Reed and his latest CD, Goodnight, Texas, go to http://www.mickreed.com/.