When Billings guitarist and retired business owner and finance professor Ben Reed first heard the Sons of the Pioneers’ hit songs, he was hooked. He played trumpet in school, sang in a college folk group, and played a smattering of guitar until other college studies took all his time.
Years later, when he realized he needed music in his life again, he started picking his Martin guitar and writing songs, and the result is this self-penned album. Assisting him are Kristina Stykos on oodles of instruments; Patrick Ross, fiddle and cello; Charlie Shew, drums, percussion and bass; and Lizzy Mandell, harmony vocals. A spicy horn section, courtesy of John Roberts, trombone, Brent Koch, sax, and Mark Fenderson, trumpet, populate the folky “Love’s Melody.”
The title tune is a soft, sad ballad, perfectly suited to Reed’s deep, warbly baritone. It’s got lovely sustained guitar and a pretty lilting fiddle interlude. “The Living Room Two-Step” is a cool bluesy dancer with great percussion, and “Fool for Love” is a soft country loper with silky piano and a sweet message.
“Ode to Jim,” with its hypnotic beat and cello undertones, is about a singer addicted to drugs who is unable to kick the habit, to dire consequences. Whew!
Following one’s muse when there are resources and time is a welcome pleasure; Reed has plans to continue down this musical journey. Find his new CD at cdbaby.com.
– Mariss McTucker