Get this crazy baby off my head!


Preston Reed

Preston Reed - Handwritten Notes 2000 - Outer Bridge Records

"If I'm a hard core guitar player, Preston Reed is petrified. He's so into it that he has alchemized. I've never seen anyone more precise. He's really inspiring." - Michael Hedges in Fingerstyle Guitar interview, March/April 1996

"Reed's fiendishly intricate blend of blues, rock, country and metal styles ducks and weaves itself away from measurability" - The Irish Times

"... phenomenal." - Al Dimeola

[Reed's] two-fisted attack turns the acoustic guitar into an entire rhythm section. - Jazziz

Handwritten Notes received positive reviews. John Dilberto wrote in Billboard "...should be a bible for anyone looking at the extended possibilities of the acoustic guitar." Dirty Linen magazine stated in its review: "Blending and bending textures and influences, Reed offers thoughtful and thought-provoking musical vignettes that offer more with each listening" and Dave Mead of Guitarist magazine stated: "Preston Reed is certainly one of the genre's frontrunners... This is an example of true, spellbinding guitar mastery." Minor 7th praised the album, writing that Reed "skillfully intertwines his trademark raucous slam-bang percussives with reflective and melodious ballads in a way which will heretofore define him as a living guitar legend in his own right."

Gone are the days when the solo guitar stylings of Preston Reed can be merely measured against those of the now-legendary Michael Hedges. On "Handwritten Notes" Preston Reed skillfully intertwines his trademark raucous slam-bang percussives with reflective and melodious ballads in a way which will heretofore define him as a living guitar legend in his own right. Reed eases into the quieter musical introspections on this CD with the pianistic grace and voicings typical of Bill Evans: "First Summer Without You" has the halting and leisurely beauty of "Waltz for Debby". "Crossing Open Water" and "What You Don’t See" likewise allow us to glimpse Reed’s innate gift for compostion, a gift whereby the listener’s focus zooms to the music rather than the technique. Reed blurs and melds genres on "Lost Time", morphing what seems to open as a slow delta blues into a jazz ballad which cries with a voice like Billie Holliday where you initially swore you may have heard Ma Rainey. Don’t fret, tapping and slapping also abound for those Groovemaster fans who take their music percussive, energizing and explosive. "Tractor Pull" and "Shinkansen" are positively hypnotic, exuding a pulsatile energy both primeval and visceral. In the liner notes, Reed says "We may not understand the mysterious power music holds, but we know it brings us together and gives us pleasure and sometimes even a miraculous recognition of our shared humanity". If I may take that statement one step further, I would say that certain guitarists of true accomplishment seem to be more visible stewards of that "miraculous power"... Preston Reed is on that short list. http://www.minor7th.com/m7_12_00.html#Reed

For other phenomenal acoustic guitarists, check out Stephen Bennett and Laurence Juber [All tracks @ 160 Kbps: File size = 62.7 Mb]


1.Night Ride 04:58
2.Gianaina 03:42
3.First Summer Without You 04:31
4.Tractor Pull 03:49
5.Crossing Open Water 04:45
6.The Groove Is Real 03:00
7.What You Don't See 05:02
8.Accelerator 03:22
9.Love In The Old Country 03:59
10.Along The Perimeter 03:27
11.Lost Time 04:33
12.Quintana Roo 03:35
13.After A Rain 03:57
14.Shinkansen 03:01

All tracks composed by Preston Reed. All instrumentation by Preston Reed


Preston Reed (born April 13, 1955, Armonk, New York) is an American fingerstyle and tapping guitarist. Preston Reed learned guitar as a child on his father's guitar and, for a short time, classical guitar with a too-severe teacher. When he was 16 his interest was rekindled by Jorma Kaukonen's acoustic guitar-playing in Hot Tuna. He took the guitar again and began to compose his own songs in the style of Leo Kottke and John Fahey. His first public performance was at Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., in a concert with Allen Ginsberg. He continued recording and performing and signed his first major label record deal with MCA Records with the help of his friend Lyle Lovett. Reed has played with various other musicians, spanning the spectrum between Linda Ronstadt and rock band NRBQ. He was featured on American radio and TV broadcasts. Between 1979 and 2007, he recorded 15 albums on several labels - mostly solo acoustic guitar -, guest-starred on other musicians productions, founded his own Outer Bridge label and featured on two solo videos. He has been commissioned for film soundtracks and a suite of original music for the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet. Reed moved to Scotland in 2000. Reed plays with his fingers, thumbs, fists and hands at once, suggesting a whole band at work: drummer, keyboard player, bass guitarist and several guitarists at once. Some of his tunes invoke impressions of rock bands and duelling guitars, but he is also a player of blues or ballads reminiscent of Bill Evans, one of his musical idols. As a teenager, Reed was influenced by Leo Kottke and John Fahey and in the beginning of his career was a fingerpicker with notable technical prowess. In the late 1980s, though, he developed his own, highly individual and percussive style, a short time after Michael Hedges published his first records using technically similar techniques, but creating very different music. He drew not only from fingerstyle, but from rock 'n' roll too, developing a very rhythmic drive in some of his compositions. Other pieces are very melodic and dreamy ballads. His guitar style is characterised by the use of percussive effects he generates with both hands on various parts of the guitar body. He names them, appropriately, rim shots and bongo hits. He uses slap and tap techniques like slap harmonics or the generation of notes or whole chords with his left hand (hammer-on, pull-off). He uses both hands for tapping (two-hand tapping) and frets chords with his right hand (right-hand fretting). He often plays with both hands from above the guitar's neck. In many of his compositions, Reed uses altered tunings characterized by very low bass string tunings, for example BGDGAD or CGDGGD, though he also uses standard tuning on his latest CD, Spirit.


Preston Reed plays acoustic guitar in a revolutionary, self-created percussive style that organically integrates melodies and drum rhythms. Preston Reed is a guitarist of many parts - so many parts that when he brings them all into play, first-time listeners often find it impossible to believe that they're hearing just the one musician, in real time. At full tilt, Reed's fingers, thumbs, fists and hands at once suggest a drummer, keyboardist, bassist and several guitarists at work. It's a dizzying, exhilarating phenomenon. A portrait of the acoustic guitar as full-on heavy metal band. But impressions of rock bands - and high speed trains and duelling, pulling tractors - are only one side of Reed. While acknowledging that somewhere inside him there is a screaming electric guitarist pacing like a caged lion, Reed is also a player of deep sensitivity who can compose and play a blues or a ballad with a touch reminiscent of his great jazz piano-playing hero, Bill Evans. Reed's entry into this guitar odyssey was inauspicious enough, his path thereafter largely self-discovered. A few chords learned from his guitar playing father, a brief, very brief, flirtation with the ukulele, clandestine practice sessions of his favourite Beatles and Stones songs on dad's guitar .... and then a too-strict classical guitar teacher led to premature retirement. At 16, however, Reed heard Jefferson Airplane's rootsy blues offshoot, Hot Tuna. His interest was rekindled big time. Acoustic guitar heroes John Fahey and Leo Kottke were studied, their styles absorbed but not imitated, and at this point things really begin to get interesting because, at 17, Reed, by now precociously proficient, played his first live gig, supporting beat poet Allen Ginsberg at the Smithsonian Institute. Just getting on a train from his native Armouk in New York state to Washington was a cool adventure. And it was just the first of many, not least of which was the one which resulted from his signing his first deal with a major record company, MCA, through the auspices of his friend, country singer-songwriter Lyle Lovett. Determined to make the most of this opportunity, Reed pushed himself to go beyond the standard fingerpicking styles he'd perfected. The result was the beginnings of the startlingly innovative style, with its percussive, two-handed fretboard attack, that you hear today and which has caused guitar luminaries such as Al DiMeola and the late Michael Hedges to describe Reed as "phenomenal" and "inspiring". Reed's compositional talents extend to film soundtracks and prestigious commissions for the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet, and as well as appearances alongside Bonnie Raitt and Linda Ronstadt his major performances include an historic live satellite broadcast on Turkish National Television in 1997 with renowned saz player and composer Arif Sag which reached an audience of 120 million in 17 countries, prompting a flood of international telephone calls to the station from stunned viewers. Since 1979, he has recorded thirteen albums and three videos and charmed audiences on three continents. He continues to tour with the same hunger and relish that informs his guitar playing and he gives regular workshops where he passes on the techniques he has developed for extending the acoustic guitar's possibilities. The secret, he says, is to relax and let the guitar patterns run by themselves. Which explains how, at full tilt, he may sound like a full-on heavy metal band but he still won't have broken sweat. © http://www.kennedy-center.org/explorer/artists/?entity_id=10944&source_type=B


A.O.O.F.C said...


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francisco santos said...

wonderful album from Dennis ..thanks for this high Fusion one...from your friend Francisco

A.O.O.F.C said...

Thanks, Francisco. You have good taste in music! TTU soon...Paul