Born and raised around Ravenna, Nashville-based singer-songwriter Spence Reed
developed a passion for music when he was in eighth grade. At the time, he hung out with a youth pastor who had a band.
“He was really into music, so I figured if I wanted to keep hanging out him, I should learn to play,” says Reed, who stopped at the Scene
offices earlier today to promote the release of his upcoming single, “I Want You To.” “So I learned to play guitar.”
Reed took lessons from Kevin MacDonald, a guy who owned a small guitar shop in Rootstown and had toured with Blue Oyster Cult and Yes. The guitarist that made him want to play was Eric Clapton.
“I really liked the way he played guitar,” Reed says of Clapton, “and then, when I got older, I got into John Mayer and liked how he played guitar. I really like his lyrics too.”
Initially, Reed formed the Spence Reed Band. The group’s first gig took place about five years ago at Wilbert’s. About a year and a half ago, Reed moved to Nashville to pursue a solo project. He currently has a distribution deal but not a record deal.
This fall, he’ll release a four-song acoustic EP. The first single, the acoustic-guitar driven ballad “I Want You To” comes out next week. While Reed will send the song to country radio, it has a pop hook to it and would sound fine along anything by singer-songwriter types like Mayer and Dave Matthews.
“I had this idea of a song that I wanted to write about someone who is out with your friends downtown, and you’re hanging out at home, and you don’t want to come out,” says Reed. “When I talked about it to him, [Co-writer] Kris Bergsnes ran with the idea. He’s such a unique writer. He can sit down without any instrument and spit out lines.”
Reed, who describes his sound as “contemporary music with country production,” says he will release a single a month through the end of the year. He hopes to put out a full-length next year and tour in support of the release.