Reed is a singer-songwriter
from the North of England. His debut album Moorscape was
released in April and that was quickly followed up by
his single Dry The Life in July. Now working on a seven
track EP for Dry The Life, John will be releasing a new
album in the middle of 2017 entitled The Breeding Ground
John’s main instrument is the ‘cittern’,
which is often confused with the Indian ‘sitar’. The
cittern is a Renaissance instrument and has been used in
British and Irish folk music for centuries. Part of the
mandola family of instruments, the cittern has various
manifestations. John’s first cittern inspired Moorscape,
and is a ten string instrument, but there are also 8 and
12 string citterns just as there are 10 string bouzoukis
which look just the same.
To confuse the mandola
story still further, John plays the cittern as more of a
rhythm guitar where it is normally plucked in more folky
melodies. During the recording of Moorscape, he found
that there were many other ways to get sounds out of a
cittern and that has led to some slide work on the Dry
The Life EP and some extraordinary sounds from just
bending the strings – for which you need fingertips of
Moorscape is a concept album about the
sights, sounds, political, and social history of the
British moorlands. It is a politically driven album and
draws comparisons between historical injustices and the
injustices that we see around us today. Moorscape
comprises a mix of descriptive songs, protest songs,
love songs, and songs of hope.
The album sees
John playing cittern, 6 string and 12 string guitars,
and a Spanish guitar that his parent’s bought for him
one Christmas when he was 15 years old. Dry The Life was
inspired by a friend lending John an African instrument
called an N’Goni, which is best described as a 12 string
harp on a gourd. The single Dry The Life was recorded
and mixed 8 days later.
The EP of Dry The Life
will be released in November, and that sees John picking
up a Fender Stratocaster on a couple of the songs as
well as introducing two other versions of the single.
John’s 2017 album will be an album of protest, and will
carry with it a more punky feel while remaining faithful
to his English folk roots.
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