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Photos: Terry Gydesen
Songwriter, singer, guitarist Ann Reed has been performing for more than 35 years with her rich, dark-chocolate voice, storytelling from the human experience, and songs that find a permanent place in the heart. Of course some of her songs and stories might end up closer to your funny bone — a little irreverence never hurt anyone. Ann has toured North America coast to coast, doing concerts, clubs, festivals, and she's met wonderful fans and made friends all along the way.
The basics: Ann is a Minnesota native. She began teaching herself how to play the guitar at the ripe old age of 12 and has been a performer for her entire adult life. Growing up with two older brothers, she was influenced by whatever they were listening to — Kingston Trio, early Joni Mitchell, Vanilla Fudge, Cream, Buffalo Springfield, Beach Boys, Beatles, Pete Seeger — plus the writers and singers of her parents' era: Cole Porter, George and Ira Gershwin, Ella Fitzgerald, Rosemary Clooney. Mary Travers — of Peter, Paul and Mary fame — was the first singer Ann heard who sang low, just like her. Validation!
Ann wrote and performed Heroes: A Celebration of Women Who Changed History and Changed Our Lives, a theatrical presentation produced by Minnesota Public Radio. And in a departure from her usual repertoire, she developed Nothing But Class: The Songs of Dorothy Fields, honoring the first woman to be inducted into the Songwriters' Hall of Fame.
Those who have heard Ann in concert know she has a knack for telling a good story and will be delighted by her first novel, Citizens of Campbell, a story about a small Iowa town, the unlikely but lifelong friendship of two World War II veterans, and the richness that comes from a simple life.
Next up — Winter Springs, Summer Falls, a new CD due out in November of 2017. She writes the lion's share of the songs on her albums — beautiful and memorable compositions that have been covered by other artists as well.
The custom 12-string guitar that Ann plays is now older than some people in her audience. It was built by luthier Charlie Hoffman of Minneapolis. (Origin of the word "luthier," by the way, is from "lute" and bears no relationship to the profusion of Lutherans who live in Minnesota.)
Ann Reed's songs move me. I'm not easily moved, having heard
a thousand or two songwriters, and her songs go to my heart.
Some of them are completely perfect.
— Garrison Keillor
While you're here visiting the website, you can peruse photos and products. There's a link to Ann's blog, written whenever she gets around to it, lyrics to many of her songs, and a schedule of performances.
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