REVIEW: DIYer Johnny Reed Does It Again with ACT 2: The Johnny Reed Show

ACT-2 The Johnny Reed Show CD Cover 1400

You’ve got to admire a self-starter and their DIY approach to their work. If you have enough talent that allows you to avoid the headaches and heartaches of relying and depending on others then why not use it? California rocker Johnny Reed is one of those rare individuals. Instead of wasting time waiting for band mates and fellow musicians to show up for, and oft times miss, rehearsals and recording sessions Reed rolled up his sleeves, picked-up his instruments, hit the “RECORD” button and made ACT 2: The Johnny Reed Show.

It’s a follow-up to his 2013 release, The Johnny Reed Show. He wrote all the songs, plays all the instruments, and does all the vocals. On ACT 2, his 4th release (all of which appear on his own Music Room Productions label), the self-sufficient Californian penned 12 new tunes about life, love and social issues. And there’s not a note in the entire collection that’s played by anyone else.

Mostly on the mellow side of rock from beginning to end ACT 2 showcases his solid expertise with both electric as well as acoustic guitars. Eschewing long, flashy solos Johnny emphasizes the textures these stringed instruments offer that allow him to create a varied audio palette from which to paint. His understanding of his guitar’s dynamic range is employed much the same way as a graphic artist uses color and shadowing on a canvas.

Reed is also no slouch on the mic. Whether it’s the powerfully delivered lead vocals, or the intricate harmonies of the background singing, he accomplishes by himself what it would take multiple members of most bands to achieve. The overall effect of his one man choirs are a delight to the well tuned ear.

When it comes to lyrics Johnny Reed goes for the economy of the line. What he chooses to say he says quite simply, but he says it well. With his melodies he’s like an eagle soaring in the sky and you’re never quite sure where he’s going to land; but when he does it’s always in the right place. Perhaps his most valuable asset is the masterful way he marries these heartfelt words with those magical melodies.

A good way for you to find out exactly what I mean would be to check out the album on ReverbNation ( Artists like this deserve our support, so if you like what you hear there then why not pay a visit to iTunes ( where you can download and buy your favorite songs from this mega-talented man. In my opinion it will be well worth your investment.



Author: Ralph White