The Brothers Reed
The Brothers Reed — Aaron Reed and Philip Reed — have received positive responses from audiences since the two members of local band Buckle Rash started their side project a few months ago.
“We do country, folk, blues and some soul,” says older brother Aaron Reed. “We’ve got two guitars, harmonies, and Phil plays some piano. It’s music in the same vein as Townes Van Zandt, Joe Pug and Eliott Smith.”
The like-minded brothers play some covers, but most of its repertoire is original music.
“It’s easy for us,” Aaron Reed says. “We grew up singing and playing together. We know where the other one is going at the same time. Our voices are similar, so we harmonize well. We’re folky, with an emphasis on vocal harmonies and storytelling.”
The Brothers Reed will perform at 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26, at Granite Tap House, 23 N. Main St., Ashland; at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 27, for one of the Medford Parks’ lunchtime concerts in the Pear Blossom Amphitheater, and at 5 p.m. Saturday at Walkabout Brewing, 921 Mason Way, Medford.
The Reeds are in the midst of a recording project that is due for release around the winter holidays.
The CD will feature new songs by the duo and some guest appearances.
“I’ve got a lot of ideas about who I’d like to have on the record,” Reed says. “But I don’t really know yet. We want to hear what the basic songs sound like and then decide what each one needs. I definitely want some lap steel on it, so I’ll be talking to Aaron Alkird, a friend from Boise. Also vocalist Amber Rose from Ashland group Roses & Whiskey, and I’d also like to see about Adam and Jeremy from The John Dough Boys.”
One new song, “Show After Show,” written by the older Reed, relates to the constant struggle of following one’s dreams.
“It’s about taking whatever life throws at you, and realizing that you just have to keep putting your heart into it. Keep on it and keep the rhythm. Keep the passion. Don’t lose that because people can tell when you’re feeling it. Just remember to always keep feeling it.
“There’s a precipice I see with bands,” he says. “They may tour for two years before they see things turn around for them. There are a whole lot of teeny, tiny steps, and then suddenly big, short leaps and plateaus. It takes a ton of people telling their friends to get to the point where fans start showing up.”
Another song, “Crazy Hippy,” is about a laid-back soul who falls for an egocentric, new-age girl who is out of touch with the universe.
“It’s that whole dichotomy of someone thinking that they’re completely open and connected but really they’re more in their own heads.”
One of Philip Reed's songs, “Ever Since You Found Me," is about a girl he’s been in love with since he was 12 years old, Aaron Reed says.
“I’m looking at our song list, and all but one of his songs is about her,” he says. “And there are plenty more.”
The age difference between the brothers is five and a half years, with Aaron being 32 and Philip 26. They grew up in St. Louis, and Adam moved to the Rogue Valley in September 2004. He billed himself as Adam Evolve, playing as a guitar and solo act or with musicians from around the Rogue Valley.
“That project was never intended to be a solo act,” Aaron says. “Back then I played with a musician named Brian Garfinkle, also known as Swice. He and I made a couple of records together. He could play just about anything, bass, drums, keys.”
More band projects followed. First came Monk with Kevin Conness and Neil Mangicaro, a reggae and hip-hop project that played around the Northwest and Hawaii. Synrgy was next, with T.J. Eilers and Clay Baker (now members of Buckle Rash), along with Brian Zach and vibraphone player Thomas Mackay.
“When Synrgy split, T.J., Clay and I started Buckle Rash,” Reed says. Oscar Matallana soon signed on as drummer, and Philip joined the band when he relocated to Ashland from St. Louis last year.