Giles Coutry Favorites
Henry Reed (born April 28, 1884) was 82 years old when folklorist Alan Jabbour began recording Henry's fiddle tunes, documenting the musical repertoire of a regional Appalachian musician. Henry's tunes hearken back to an era with horse driven transportation, without modern amenities, and a strong reliance on self-sufficient living. This popular music was played for entertainment, social gatherings and frolics long before the invention of recording technology. Tunes were passed own from musician to musician changing slightly as time moved on. When Alan's recordings became available to folk musicians in the late 1960's an explosion of interest ran through the fiddling revival scene. Traditional tunes such as Money Musk, Roundtown Gals and Shady Grove become instant favorites among the young bands of the time. Henry's tunes have propagated from coast to coast and across the globe and 40 years later are still played for concerts and dances on a regular basis. Chris Via began playing the banjo and listening to Henry Reed's music in 1999. Chris's interest soon gravitated to playing the fiddle. Chris, a Giles County resident with family ties to Giles County back several generations, was highly interested in the playing of Henry Reed. Chris studied Henry's tunes from top to bottom, carefully restoring the sounds and subtle nuances of Henry Reed's playing. Soon Chris began to seek Henry's sons that lived in the community. He sought Dean Reed, James Reed and Gene Reed for musical advice, bowing tips, guitar backup and inspiration. All three plus the oldest brother Neal are included on this CD as the Reed Family Band. This CD was created to highlight Chris's accomplishments and as a musical tribute to the Reed family. Joining Chris are Henry Reed's sons; Neal Reed (born 1910) on harmonica, James Reed on guitar, Gene Reed on mandolin, and Dean Reed on guitar. Chris's wife Angie Via provides a solid standup bass performance on many of the cuts. Bland County banjo player Jamie Trobough is the featured banjo player on several cuts, with Bill Blevins providing some banjo ukulele chops on two selections. Part of Henry Reed's repertoire included solo fiddle pieces he learned from Quince Dillion (born 1826), a fifer in the Civil War. Jazz drummer Bill Parcell accompanies Chris on the lap snare providing a Civil War era inspired cadence. Twenty-five tunes are featured on this generous compilation of Henry Reed tunes. We hope you will enjoy this fine effort by Chris to pay tribute to the Reed family's musical talent and contribution to Appalachian music culture. This recording was made from the heart and is dedicated to all of those musicians young and old that like their music homemade. This CD, Chris Reed and the Reed Family Band contains some of the Giles County Favorites. Local musicians find music jams in Narrows Virginia and Rich Creek Virginia every week that feature Henry Reed's music. Every second week in June you will find Chris and the Reed family at the Henry Reed Memorial Festival in Glen Lynn Virginia on a strip of land beside the New River that this hearty family worked by hand to make a living. Chris can also heard playing banjo for the Giles Mountain String Band on their latest 2008 release, Going to Get Some Corn and 2004 release Blue Ridge.