SecondLife Singer/Songwriter Showcase



Frederick Reed aka Funkyfreddy is a gifted songwriter and multi-instrumentalist with a melodic style that mixes folk, rock, and Americana with a hint of ambient pop. His slide guitar and unique ambient guitar styling have dazzled audiences throughout New England. His voice and songwriting are reminiscent of artists such as Neil Young, Elliott Smith, Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd. Fred is also well known as the guitarist for Neighbors + Allies, one of David Bowie’s favorite NY bands.

Fred has composed and performed music for Wall Street Journal TV, PBS, Time Warner, Sesame Street, and Strange Universe. He composed the soundtrack for “Borders” with Steve Buscemi and the Emmy award-winning documentary “Metaphoria”. Fred’s song “My Secret Life” was featured on the NPR show “Echoes” by John Diliberto. Artists Fred has collaborated with include Jeff Buckley, Deee-Lite, Susan McKeown, Gary Lucas, Pete Shelly (the Buzzcocks), and Hamell On Trail. Fred co-wrote and played on many tracks of “Fused” by Richard Khuzami, which features many luminaries of world music. Fred wrote and performed a novelty song, “Ozark Melody” with Jeff Buckley, which was featured in Rolling Stone magazine.

In addition to his solo work, Fred performs with Broadway performer and singer-songwriter Tamra Hayden, as the band August Moons. They bring their diverse musical backgrounds together to create a unique sound featuring guitar, viola, and vocals. Their collaborations can be heard on Fred’s latest album, Songs from the North Country, and additional recordings are planned for 2012. Fred has recorded two albums, Ghosts of Another America, and the newly released Songs from the North Country. A fine sense of ambience, space, and musicianship underlie insightful lyrics. Both albums are available on iTunes, Amazon, and CDBaby.


1. Why are you a singer/songwriter? Hmm… why was I born in the 20th century and given access to awesome instruments and technology? I don't know why…. Can we objectively state what makes us do what we do? I'm a product of my times as much as anyone else… but the musical path is a choice. I've always written songs and music…. my first songs being parodies and pastiches. I love to sing but it doesn't come easy for me, singing is work. For a long time I wrote songs but had others sing them. Then I decided…. if Bob Dylan/Tom Waits/David Byrne/Madonna/etc could sing, then so can I :)

2.  What is your musical background? Do you have a musical family or did you just fall into songwriting all on your own?

Half of my family was musical and the other half wasn't… we had many books and records growing up, a piano, an organ, guitars, recorders, flutes, drums…. I guess I was destined to hack away at something and make noise with something other than fireworks, music delivering me from the pyromania I had as a kid. Yes, I was real trouble with a pack of matches! So…. music kept me out of trouble for the most part, except for those road trips, women in strange cities, men in trench coats with medications, mobbed up record execs/etc.

My first gigs were with the church, playing at nursing homes, mental hospitals, church functions, etc. I probably should have stayed in church but went to NYC and started playing at CBGB's. I got in all kinds of trouble and learned all kinds of music and engineering stuff , met and worked with a lot of interesting folks as well.

3. What sorts of things have you done to improve your songwriting?

Practice and let go. When you get the initial inspiration take it as far as you can, then put it away for awhile…. take it out again when you're compelled to finish it…. I think listening to great songs will improve your writing, also trying to get away from the self… yes, the selfish self, the ego… too much ego music out there nowadays, the "Hey look at me American Idol" narcism…. if your goal is to appear on American Idol please do the world a favor and shoot yourself now :)

4. Have you written any songs in the last 12 months? What are you working on now and where do you feel your music is headed?

I'm always writing songs and instrumentals, don't know where they're headed till they're done… they wander like dogs and children and I let them wander till I come in with the scissors and trim them a bit. I have hundreds of incomplete songs and pieces looking to be whole, as am I :)

5. And finally, what advice would you give anyone looking to follow a similar path to yours?

A path similar to mine? That's a good one :) When you walk in the back yard be careful not to get dog dirt on your shoes…. and you will get dog dirt all over you if you plan on working in the music biz… grow a thick skin, because your heart will be broken more than once. In some ways this can be a good thing because the bleeding and breakage will help you write better songs. There are far easier ways to make money, so if that's your goal, go be a stockbroker/politician/oil company guy/drug dealer/ etc.


The FUNKYFREDDY MP3 Sample from his show on September 14.