The James Reid Band show will bring listeners along for the 50-year personal and musical journey of Orcas Island’s James (Jim) Connell, his songwriting partner Reid Spencer, and their band.
In 1970, a group of long-haired young men suspended their Ivy League educations and decided to head to the Deep South and play their original, soft rock music. Seemed like a great idea at the time.
Those two years were filled with musical and personal adventures, including playing with the Allman Brothers Band, Jerry Jeff Walker, Jimmy Buffett and others. They separated amicably in 1972, returned to school, and resumed their individual lives. Several band members had successful musical careers. Jim and Reid pursued other interests and were out of touch for almost 40 years.
Through a “you can’t make this stuff up” set of circumstances, they reunited—at sixty- something years old—to make music again. In 2015 they recorded an album here on Orcas Island – Breakfast at Sunset -- with four original band members and an array of local talent, then came together again this past summer to play for thousands of adoring NASCAR fans in Beaver Lick, Kentucky.
The James Reid Band plays songs that tell stories from two eras of Jim and Reid’s musical partnership and friendship. Their songs from the early 70s tell about their lives as hippie
musicians in the South, about the characters they met, and about the fears and dreams of youth. Their new songs bring listeners into the room for musical conversations between old friends about aging, love, loss, and renewal.
Musical styles include folk, country, rock, classical and jazz influences. The songs and the band’s performance should bring smiles and tears, inspire memories, and create an irresistible urge to sing along and maybe dance in the aisles.
The band’s first CD has received national recognition, and the shows will include songs from this recording and a soon-to-be-released CD, also being recorded on Orcas Island.
The James Reid Band musicians include Orcas resident and composer Jim Connell and his songwriting partner Reid Spencer, along with Mat Kastner, accomplished country and rock guitarist from the original band, Orcas’ own brilliant multi-instrumentalist Martin Lund, and Seattle drummer Brian “Captain” Kirk of One World Festival and Pointer Sisters fame. They will be joined by several other outstanding players from Seattle, Cincinnati, and from here on Orcas Island.
Please feel free to contact Susan Hull, the show’s producer, at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about how to get tickets to these shows, to learn more about and contribute to Recovery in Community, and to volunteer to help with the show’s production or promotion.