Reed Turchi in concert
With songs pulling from Americana roots in blues, Reed Turchi brings his dynamic songs to the Woody Guthrie Center Theater in February. The show is set for 7 p.m. Feb. 9. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door and are available by calling 918-574-2710.
From the artist:
What began as an obsession with Mississippi Hill Country blues has become a burgeoning blues orchestra at the vanguard of a new American roots music. Raised in the Swannanoa valley of Western North Carolina, multi-instrumentalist Reed Turchi is a producer, label head, band leader and solo artist. He’s also a master of guitar driven blues that shapeshift seamlessly between acoustic slide, electric juke joint boogie, and the improvisational, groove-driven, massive sound of his Nashville based Kudzu Orkestra. His latest albums Tallahatchie, and Live At Soulshine evince his ability to play elemental blues solo, and to lead entire improvisational orchestras on the very same theme.
He’s been lauded by Greg Vandy of KEXP as “a familiar reality in this time of cultural and political uncertainty” and praised by American Standard Time as “The sound of a new American music”. Reed has been featured in Rolling Stone, American Songwriter, Oxford American, and Fretboard Journal.
He’s been the leader out in front of southern rock three-piece Turchi, and post-everything band The Caterwauls. As founder of Devil Down Records he produced solo records by Junior Kimbrough’s bassist Little Joe Ayers and RL Burnside’s longtime guitarist Kenny Brown. His work with premier Italian guitarist Adriano Viterbini resulted in the first post-Turchi, cross-Atlantic album Scrapyard. Viterbini would later contribute to his next project Reed Turchi and The Caterwauls Speaking In Shadows featuring the brilliant piano work of Heather Moulder and luminary lead guitar of Joey Fletcher. Speaking In Shadows was just one of the results of Turchi’s work as label head at the famed Ardent Studios in Memphis. A virtually defunct Ardent sought reinvention and found Reed, who was working with renowned folklorist Bill Ferris as an undergrad at UNC Chapel Hill, editing Ferris’s recordings of Mississippi Fred McDowell, and releasing them on Devil Down. He eventually departed Ardent to tour nationally with The Caterwauls, but the tour ended with walls coming up all around him. The band broke up, his booking agent disappeared, he was ill personally, and worse: his grandmother was dying.
While visiting at her bedside his grandmother requested he play music, and he noticed that many of his songs just didn’t lend themselves to playing solo. After her death he sought a return to his own roots. He locked himself in a room and recorded Tallahatchie over three days on a portable recorder in a house he’d “had a one-year lease on and spent twenty days at” in Murfreesboro, TN. It’s a powerful record on which Reed explores the work of RL Burnside, Sonny Boy Williamson, and Charley Patton “in an attempt just to get back to music I love, without all the musical-heartbreak that was closing in on me.” The result is a music imbued with the inescapable cloud of despair that causes men to turn inwards. It is the blues.