Rob Reid is a principled man

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Ever met anyone born of Polish immigrant blood and ancestry that once came to America in hopes of establishing a new life, whose ancestors supported the family by working in the copper mines of northern Michigan? Rob Reid fits that description, as such a person with such a family history. How many world travelers can you count, that you know well, on one hand? Perhaps for some of you it might number higher than 5, I can't think that mine goes any higher. Rob, however, stands out in the fore of those that I can bring to mind when considering such a question.

Rob is a founding member of the progressive enterprise better known as 'Bash', a collection of musicians, real or otherwise, that were focused enough to birth four full-length discs of instrumental music emphasizing percussion and successfully exploring the many moods that can achieved within percussion. I believe, from the stories Rob has told, that it was with the Bash project that he forever damaged his wrists because he was so inspired to play drums and percussion as well as Stewart Copeland, the remarkable drummer of The Police fame.


[Rob Reid plays the South Haven, Michigan Farmer's Market, summer outing 2008. He was a sensation that morning. The crowd loved his set of songs. Rob proceeded to play two more shows that same day, sharing the stage w/ Them Damn Kids.]

Some friends of mine and I have traveled extensively with Rob Reid, throughout the Midwestern United States, playing shows to throngs of espresso machines. It is always a pleasure to travel with this fella. Refers to himself and others as rascals. Ever the student, ever the professor. This rascal can make a broken trip all better. He can turn a bad show going nowhere into a good show with everyone laughing and enjoying life and going somewhere different and better than nowhere.

I have to credit Rob for furthering my interest in jazz guitar. I won't pretend to be anything near Joe Pass, but the sounds of jazz chords and composition really hold my attention these days. It all started with my dad making sure that Grant Green was heard on our new compact disc player back in the late 80's. Rob probably took that early learning, coupled with some VHS video instruction from Brian Setzer, when he played his songs composed with a jazz sensibility, and it quite made me see there is more to the world of guitar than that found in the song Leper Messiah from the remarkable 'Master of Puppets' album. I still love Leper Messiah, but I also indulge in many styles of music, as I hope all of us do.


[Here's Rob on the Summer 2008 outing w/ Them Damn Kids, somewhere in Indiana, south of HWY 30.]

Alot of this music dabbling, for me, is quite a bit personality as well as music. Rob is no exception, and that is all the more reason to not only czech out his upcoming shows, but also his catalog of song. Rob is, indeed, sitting on a newly-pressed album, he just received copies only days ago in the mail. His official record-release shows begin with the first at Weeds by the North and Clybourn Red Line stop in the city of Chicago, IL. It seems to come to mind that he is opening up the night, only to be followed up by another record-releaser, Populele. Stuff is contagious, this record-release biz.

If you need another reason to go see the show, at least consider what it would be to ride home from playing in Fargo, ND southbound on Interstate 94 with two other rascals onward to Chicago, IL, only beginning the trek at about 2AM. Imagine passing east of St. Paul, MN around 5AM listening to Rob Reid scream aloud as he is behind the wheel of the Buick LeSabre in hopes that it would keep the two individuals in the front seat awake. The goal was to just get home to Chicago, after playing the last show of the summer tour: we all just wanted our space and our own beds. It appeared that the auto was moving along rather calmly, then out of nowhere, no warning, no alarm, there it is: Rob Reid screaming behind the wheel just to stay awake. It was certainly a strategy. I think it worked. We didn't crash, we all began to laugh, actually. Driving through Wisconsin was rough that overnight, and not because of the state, it was because of the state of mental and physical health: both were faring poorly as all three in the car were attempting cat naps only to prepare for the next leg of driving, which was the year of the 1-hour driving-shifts experiment. I remember pulling over at some gas station near that Army base in mid-state Wisconsin and purchasing an energy drink called 'Hair of the Dog'. I was worried about what I was drinking, the flavour was foul. I remember the sun on that morning as we pulled over into the Rest Area just north of Madison. The heat began to make its presence known again, as it was summer.

Rob is a storyteller, you see. The man loves the railroads. He loves the empty shell of an abandoned building, he loves taconite. He loves Mexican food from the south side of Milwaukee, WI. He is probably from another time. Better catch him before he has to go back to that other time period, and one can be assured that he will take his collection of terrific fedoras with him. Where can you see him next? Note the following:

Saturday, December 5
1555 N. Dayton
(312) 943-7815
starts at approx. 9:30 PM
(opening for Populele)

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Tuesday December 29, 2009
Uncommon Ground
3800 North Clark Street
8:00 pm
(sharing a bill with Them Damn Kids)
[note: this business encourages all in attendance to support by getting a beer or food. a tip jar gets passed around for each band, as well. Be forewarned!]

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Rob's website is:

[additional note: I am still figuring out how to add mp3's to this blog. I'll get it 'fore too long. In the meantime, visit the websites of the bands listed.]

- Mr. Whiskers ShareThis

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