Apr 9, 2011

Introducing Johnny Reid


His albums have topped the charts and attained platinum sales. His concerts sell out arenas. He has been recognized with a shelf full of awards. The title of this album might be INTRODUCING JOHNNY REID, but the Scottish-born, singer/songwriter is hardly a new arrival.
In the last five years, Reid has released three albums that sold over 750,000 copies and won numerous honors, including the distinct honor of performing for Her Majesty, the Queen of England. Now the rest of the world gets the chance to discover Reid’s powerful, raspy delivery and deeply heartfelt songwriting. The album covers a broad range of feelings and experiences—from the joyous, horn-driven “Love Thing” to the quiet reflection of “A Place Called Love”— and delivers what Reid calls “a celebration of humanity” with a sound all its own.
“From a young age, I listened to all kinds of music,” says Reid. “My mother was a big fan of Stax and Detroit soul. My father was a big fan of all music as long as it told a story. I have taken the instrumentation, performance, and energy of soul and annexed that with storytelling of things that really matter in this world - family, love, and friendship.”
There is no doubt that Johnny Reid is a bona fide star, but for all the right reasons. His music comes form the heart and is written with the intention of giving people a little bit of light in the middle of darkness.  The son of a diesel mechanic, Reid like millions before him, set out on a journey to chase the American Dream. After graduating college (where he was a kicker on the football team), he was offered the chance to write songs for the publishing division of Dreamworks Records. For the better part of a year, he made the 18-hour commute back and forth every few weeks, working part-time jobs to make ends meet. Finally opportunity knocked when Dreamworks Nashville offered Reid a full time position as a staff writer. He packed up his family and relocated—only to be told a few weeks later that Dreamworks Publishing was closing it’s doors and everything he thought he had was gone.
With the support of his wife, Reid stuck it out, picking up sporadic work and writing songs when time allowed. To save money, he recorded demo versions of his compositions and decided to sing them himself, rather than paying a session vocalist. It was not long after that, people within the music industry started taking notice of Reid’s unique voice and delivery.
Eventually, Reid started getting hired to record demos for other writers, and eventually Universal Records offered him his first record deal for a new label of theirs. It was at this moment Reid decided to take destiny into his own hands.
The singer went to the bank, took out a loan, and financed his own album. He recorded it in one day and later licensed it to Universal Records. That album, Born to Roll, came out of the gate as a platinum seller. His subsequent albums: Kicking Stones, Dance With Me, and most recently A Place Called Love have all achieved multi-platinum status. This massive success drew the attention of Ian Ralfini, President of EMI/Manhattan Records, who signed Reid—but insisted that he not try to change his style for a new market.
“When I asked Ian what he wanted, he replied emphatically ‘I don’t care what it is, as long as it’s a Johnny Reid record,’” the singer recalls.
Perhaps no song on INTRODUCING JOHNNY REID typifies his ambitions more than the impassioned “Today I’m Gonna Try and Change the World.” The song offers examples of things we can do on a daily basis to try and make the world a better place, something Reid believes in. “That’s a real legacy to leave behind, and maybe our kids will reap the crops that we sow.”
The song “Tell Me Margaret” serves, in many ways, as the emotional center of the album. It was written for Reid’s beloved grandmother, who passed away, in his arms, last year in Scotland. “It was a very tough time for me,” he says. “She was a huge part of my life—I spoke to her every Sunday by telephone since 1988.”
If you ask Johnny Reid what the songs on this album reflect, he will tell you: “It’s about love, appreciation, dedication, devotion, respect—everything I try to stand up for.”
To audiences in the US, this album does indeed serve as an introduction to Johnny Reid. But really, it's the culmination of a career that continues on an exciting trajectory. He concludes: “All I have ever asked for is the chance to sing my songs, play my music, tell my stories and be part of something bigger than myself.”

My thoughts:
I received this album without an prior knowledge of Johnny Reid, so as I popped the CD into my player I really had no clue what to expect to come out of my speakers.  Thankfully, I liked what I heard.  Johnny's Reid sound is pretty much adult contemporary.  To me it has a real Rod Stewart feel.  I think if you are an American Idol watcher and are currently enjoy Paul McDonald's performance (Season 9) you should give Johnny Reid a listen.  He doesn't have quite the same sound as Paul, which for me is a good thing because its the weirdness in tone that I don't enjoy for Paul that is missing.  Johnny's sound has a lot of gruffness but also a lot of swagger in my opinion.  This CD will definitely be staying in my rotation.  


Tour Dates 

4/27 Detroit, MI Royal Oak
5/05 Buffalo, NY Univ. of Buff
5/07 Hartford, CT  Belding
5/08 NYC BB Kings
5/11 Stroudsburg, PA Sherman
5/16 Nashville, TN Belcourt
5/17 Orlando, FL Plaza
5/19 Seattle, WA Nordstrum
5/20 Sac, CA  Crest
5/24 LA, CA  Wilshire Ebell

More dates to come!


  1. I have never heard of him, sounds like I might like him! THanks for sharing!!

  2. The blog is very good!

  3. Thanks for sharing. I will have to give him a try.

  4. He's totally new to me. Thank you!

  5. I have never heard of him, sounds interesting, thanks for the review


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