Gary Reed- A Second Time For A First Impression

With a Little Help From My Friends

About 2-3 years ago, I met up with guitarist Gary Reed at a gig I was playing at the Wind Gap Bluegrass Festival. He came up to me and we talked for a while-  to which he expressed interest in recording with me at my studio.

Well, we ended up becoming great friends… and here’s one story that I think all of you should truly be inspired by, especially if you think that life on your guitar has just “passed you by.”

As it turns out, years ago back in the 70’s was when I  met Gary for the first time, as he was the hotshot fingerpicker in our area of west New Jersey.  He was into creating all these arrangements of pop songs on the acoustic guitar, which by today’s standards doesn’t seem so unique but back then, it wasn’t something a lot of us never heard of.

To make a long story even longer (I love that line), Gary ended up putting his guitar up and concentrating on his business. While finding a huge demand at that time for his services, he quickly amassed amounts of money that very few ever see. The good life right?

After many years of insane success and for whatever reason, the business dried up, and Gary was in serious crisis trying to put it all back together.  But here’s the kicker… Through all of the struggles, Gary, who of course was much older… once again turned to his guitar- and even started writing vocal songs. We would end up doing a bunch of projects together, both vocals and instrumentals. Now I know what you are thinking…. how is this going to help with his finances?

Well Gary was smart, and started to book himself locally for guitar and solo events. He used his recorded material and even this video and others to solicit work. Well, you know what? Gary now gigs more than just about anyone I know, and although he’s no longer in the millionaire’s club, he’s got a nice following, is making ends meet with the bills and getting better and better on the guitar. Hey Gary, isn’t that what you wanted to do all along?

So I guess the happy ending to the story is, Gary was able to make the guitar his living. Out of necessity? Well perhaps but, let’s face it, not exactly the advice my father would have given me. And even though he’s not playing Carnegie Hall, this is one of the best success stories that should be an inspiration to us all.

This video is live with a 3 camera shoot- his guitar which is a hollow body electric Taylor, is plugged in. There’s also a Royer stereo mic in front of the guitar.  Please give my friend and this talented guy some “Likes” here.  And if you are thinking that life has passed you by on the guitar, just ask Gary- There’s always a second time for a first impression.


Here’s another video of one of Gary’s vocal tunes that I co produced with him. I’m the mandolin player on this one. It’s not an actual video, but you get the idea of what that project sounds like. Also, listen to the words- it’s a song he wrote about getting old, keeping things together and, well, what I’m talking about up top.



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