If you look up the word “troubadour” Google doesn’t give you a whole lot. There is a reference to medieval times and of course traveling, wandering musicians. But if you want a perfect example of a “modern day troubadour”, you need to look no further than the life and times of the 2012 grand prize winner of the Telluride Troubadour Contest, singer- songwriter Reed Waddle.
In a recent show he said “my life is like a gypsy trucker, traveling wherever my music takes me, writing about what moves me: the people and places I encounter”. Turn back the clock to August 2009, when he decided it was time for a great change. He moved from the “safety” of his hometown on the beaches of the Florida Gulf coast to the north Atlantic shores of Boston for a new beginning. The Destin, Florida native was seeking a breakthrough in a completely new arena. Within months he captured the Grand Prize of the prestigious New York Songwriters Circle and was a winner at The Mountain Stage New Song Competition in West Virginia. It was during this period of great change, growth and struggle, the songs that poured out of him became the basis for his most recent release: “Creatures of the Heart”.
After two years of touring and living in New England, Reed’s path pointed to New York City. He quickly found an ally in British producer lestyn Polson (David Gray, David Bowie). Soon they were hard at work editing and rehearsing with a band of handpicked veterans of the NYC music scene. In late May of 2011, they began recording. The album was cut live at Sear Sound and later mixed at Downtown Studios in Soho with Zack Hancock. The result is a potent blend of Reed’s soaring melodies and the bands’ raw energy that results in his most compelling record yet.
“Each album you make is a snapshot of where you are in your life as an artist and a person. There is an energy you can literally feel when you are in New York City and I wanted that to come through in this record. With the sound of the room and the players I found, I couldn’t be happier. We had a lot of fun making this album, doing things that I wouldn’t normally have done. It was cut live, no excuses…..either play it, or don’t. There was an element of danger, a step outside of what I am familiar with, so I played electric guitar almost exclusively. I am excited for people to hear about where my journey has taken me.”
“Waddle isn’t playing the game like the average up and coming musician… he opted instead to charge out of the gates writing and recording music that could be appreciated by millions. After spinning this disc a few times…we can’t help but think that, with the right backing, this guy could become hugely famous in no time. He has an incredibly smooth voice…and his songs are bound to strike a chord with people. LMNOP.com
Reed has opened for or appeared on stage with Hall and Oates, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Shawn Colvin, The Indigo Girls, Mat Kearney, The All American Rejects, The Punch Brothers, Glen Hansard, Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers, Tim Reynolds (Dave Matthews Band), Vienna Teng, Katie Hertzig, Shawn Mullins, Ryan Montbleau, Jessie Harris, Matt Duke, Caleb Hawley, Liz Longley, The Whalers and many others. In June 2012 he performed at the 39th Telluride Blue Grass Festival before his largest audience ever, after winning the Telluride Troubadour Contest. His album “Creatures of the Heart” reached number 22 on the I-Tunes Singer Songwriter charts prior to his national tour opening for NBC’s The Voice winner Javier Colon in March of 2012. In 2010 he played in 38 states mostly in small venues, colleges and listening rooms touring with Caleb Hawley and as a solo artist. His songs “Ready to Run” and “Goodnight Los Angeles” were in rotation on “The Loft” for four months on Sirius Satellite Radio from October of 2008 through January 2009 . Reed has co-written with John Oates and performed on stage with him numerous times. Oates sang background vocals on his last album, “Piece by Piece”. He considers Oates a mentor and a strong influence on his career.
- 2012 Grand Prize Winner: Telluride Troubadour Contest
- 2010 Best Song Runnerup: AAA/Alternative The International Acoustic Music Awards for “The Beast Within”
- 2010 Best Song Nominee: “Piece by Piece” The Independent Music Awards
- 2009 Grand Prize Winner: New York Songwriters Circle Competition
- 2009 Co- Winner: Mountain Stage New Song Competition
- 2008 Winner: Best Singer Songwriter, Beachcomber Music Awards, Destin Florida
- 2007 finalist: American Idol Songwriters Competition for his song “I Saw Stars”. It was one of 20 picked from 25,000 entrants nationwide.
- ASCAP Award Plus Recipient: 2004-2005
- International Songwriting Competition: finalist two times
“More poetic and more emotional than practically any other act playing right now. In a period of pop stars devoid of any emotion, the soulful lyrics of Waddle shine through as a bright spot on a barren plain. By all means, check out Reed Waddle as he and his band plays through the United States in support of his new release .”
-James McQuiston of Neufutr Magazine
“Waddle’s larger than life strength is his diversification & range – there’s no putting him into a “category” because he changes sounds from song to song. In the hands of a less skilled artist, that could serve to disjoint an album, but for Waddle, the result is pure butter.”