Gary’s distinctive writing style has roots in the counterculture of the 1960’s, with influences ranging from Dylan to the Byrds, the Beatles and Mississippi Delta Blues men, to the early years of the James Gang. His rebellious character was shaped by the freedoms and tensions of the sixties, including Vietnam War protests the credo of ‘sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll’, and divergent interpretations of the American Dream.
Today, Gary has reemerged as an accomplished and contemporary voice -- with lyrics that resonate from that earlier time.
Gary Reed is an outstanding guitar player and performer. He is a premier fingerstyle guitar player and guitar champion winner who writes and plays unique solo guitar arrangements ranging from Joplin to the Beatles, New Age to Yazoo and “Finger Popping” original tunes. His style comes out of the 1960’s revival of the black blues guitar players and performed with guitar guys from New York City and San Francisco.
Influenced by great players over time from the early blues men like Robert Johnson, Blind Blake, Mississippi John Hurt and Big Bill Broonzy, to next generation players as Meryl Travis, Chet Atkins, Lenny Breau, Doc Watson and Jerry Reed and then performing with current players Leo Kottke, Laurence Juber, John Knowles, Duck Baker, John Miller, Wil Ackerman, Tommy Emmanuel, Michael Hedges and many others.
Gary started his performing career in the Village in the late sixties and early seventies being a regular player at the Bitter End, Folk City, Café Wah, Max’s Kansas City, The Village Gate and most of the clubs in the Village at that time. He had the opportunity to open for some great players such as: Jerry Jeff Walker, Billy Joel, Randy Newman, Joe Walsh and Jeremy Steig.
In the mid seventies Gary moved to San Francisco and became part of the acoustic music scene. He easily gravitated to the west coast fingerstyle way of guitar playing and performed widely in the San Francisco clubs, up and down the peninsula and East Bay. Gary became part of the music festival scene performing at some major venues such as the Vancouver Folk Festival, Black Point Festival, Puget Sound Festival, Santa Cruz Music Festival and many local music events.
Today, Gary is active again and enjoying playing his great guitar arrangements and original songs at clubs in the New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania area. He was honored to be a featured/main stage performer at the 2001 Chet Atkins memorial service in Nashville. Also he was a guest performer at the New Jersey Guitar Show in Great Gorge playing along side of Les Paul, George Benson and other premier NJ guitarists.