Swannanoa, North Carolina
Record Label
Devil Down Records
Interstellar Desert Blues
Raised in the Swannanoa Valley just outside of Asheville, North Carolina, Reed Turchi grew up playing piano, focusing on boogie woogie and New Orleans styles be...fore becoming infatuated with slide guitar. While learning Hill Country Blues (RL Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, Mississippi Fred McDowell) firsthand in North Mississippi, he founded his blues-rock trio “TURCHI,” which released its debut album Road Ends in Water in 2012. Called "everything a blues fan could want" (LA Examiner), the album featured guest Luther Dickinson on three tracks.

After a series of national tours, TURCHI released Live in Lafayette in early 2013, and exploded on the blues-rock scene, notably earning high praise from Living Blues Magazine ("for all of their communion with the past, TURCHI sounds vital, alive, and essential"), landing on the cover of Buscadero (Italy) and being showcased in a five-page feature in Il Blues Magazine (Italy). At that point, TURCHI’s national touring grew to include Europe, highlighted with a headlining spot at Mojo Festival (Rome) in June 2014 after the release of Can’t Bury Your Past, which expanded the trio with keyboards/organ (Anthony Farrell) and saxophone (Art Edmaiston).

Also in 2014, stemming from his tours in Italy, Reed began collaborating with renowned Italian guitarist Adriano Viterbini, leading to Scrapyard, an intimate, intense, guitar duo album recorded in Memphis and in Rome. Called "a marvelous example of talent and simplicity" (Bluebird Reviews, UK), the album earned a editor’s feature from iTunes ("blues chemistry overflowing with earthy delta slide and dark pulsing electric guitar"), and a spot on Tidal’s “editor’s playlist.”

At around the same time, seeking new inspirations and sounds, Reed moved from Western North Carolina to Memphis, where he began digging into the trademark rhythms and styles that made the music from Stax and Muscle Shoals groove so powerful. It was a time of personal and musical change, leading Reed to disband TURCHI with the release of sendoff EP We Spoke in Song, recorded at an old JC Penney in Richmond VA amidst their final performances in October 2014.

As they toured in support of Scrapyard in Europe and the US, Adriano introduced Reed to Tuareg music (Tinariwen, Bombino, Terakaft). Back in Memphis, Reed wrote songs with a new sound and band in mind, and began recording at Ardent Studios in April 2015. The result, Speaking in Shadows, will be released March 4th 2016 on Devil Down Records.

Revealing musical and songwriting influences ranging from Randy Newman and JJ Cale to Beck, T Rex, and Tinariwen, Reed steps out from behind the gruff fuzz into a multi-faceted sound built on finely crafted songs and ear- & rear-moving grooves. Featuring an all-star group of musicians including drummer/bassist Paul Taylor, saxophonist Art Edmaiston, Andrew Trube and Anthony Farrell (Greyhounds), and Adriano Viterbini, Speaking in Shadows is built on a foundation of Memphis groove and fat-back rhythm. Fresh textures abound, from the carnival of sounds on tongue-in-cheek “Drawn and Quartered” to the heartbreaking vocals of Heather Moulder on the spare, haunting lead track “Pass Me Over.” As a songwriter, Turchi confidently mines the classic blues/rock vein in "Offamymind" ("Well I can barely walk, so I guess I oughta/ Get behind this wheel and drive”), effortlessly shifts gears to the satirical "Everybody's Waiting (for the end to come)," and turns introspective in "Looking Up Past Midnight." Reuniting with engineer Adam Hill (Big Star, Dirty Streets, White Stripes), Reed strikes out for new territory with co-production by Billy Bennett (MGMT, Drive-By Truckers, Los Colognes). The album was mastered by Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes, Natural Child, The Whigs) at Bombshelter Studios in East Nashville, with artwork and design from Charles Ritchie.

To implement the new album's sound live, Reed assembled The Caterwauls: Memphis drummer Andrew McNeill; Murfreesboro, TN-based slide guitarist Joey Fletcher; and Woodsbury, TN singer / piano player Heather Moulder. The Caterwauls combine soul, funk, rock, country, and gospel, creating deep grooving rhythms. Reed and The Caterwauls are preparing for a busy 2016, and the launch of Speaking in Shadows.
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As low-down and lonesome as the Blues may be, listening to the song—or playing it—is nevertheless cathartic, hard-won resilience washes away despair. The despair isn’t entirely removed, however; rather, like a long-handled broom, it is left leaning in the corner. And, of course, the work of composing new Blues music, is also an act of research and preservation. As with any folk tradition, one m...ust reach back to the deepest roots. There one finds not singularity, but rich variety, styles and tunings and riffs that have blended together to be, ultimately, inseparable. And, yet, when the right player and the right voice perform the right songs, the result is wholly singular. That is how one working within a tradition makes an original contribution. And that is how I hear this fine record. Reed Turchi has delivered an original, unvarnished interpretation of a long musical tradition. Tallahatchie taps the sacred and profane roots behind it to make those mysterious, conflicted energies vital all over again. Such renewal keeps the art alive, and this record is as alive as a whippoorwill singing from a midnight hillside.


"Turchi proves to be an old soul...we feel like we are sitting right there in some lonely cabin deep amongst the pines and the kudzu sipping whiskey and listening to him play his heart out." -- Neil Ferguson, Glide Magazine

“(Tallahatchie) strips it bare to an honest bone - just man and guitar. You know the songs, and the meditative simplicity is just what we need to grasp something we think we know; a familiar reality in this time of cultural and political uncertainty. – Greg Vandy, KEXP

“Tallahatchie certainly has that inward-looking contemplative mood about it. The record has a "Robert Johnson in a boarding-house with a guitar, a mic and a recording machine" ambiance." -- Bill Kopp, Asheville Mountain XPress

"Turchi returns to his roots, and effects a brilliant strategy. DeStijl in design, the album is a work of minimalism...Turchi’s great talent for absorbing, interpreting, and continuing the talents of Sonny Boy Williamson, and Mississippi Fred McDowell (“Write Me A Few Lines”), and even Charley Patton (“Mississippi Boll Weevil”) make this album a relaxing, raw, cathartic respite, free from the conformity of a full band." -- Sean Jewell, American Standard Time

"...delivered by Turchi's voice and his slide guitar with the class and the charisma of a perfect Blues Troubadour. Tallahatchie is an album that goes beyond the pure and simple love for the traditions of the Hill Country Blues. It's the most sincere labour of love possible of a musician that has never forgotten where his musical heart belongs to and always will." - Gio Pilato, Bluebird Reviews

. Here are dark, plunging canyons of natural reverb, resounding and haunting rail-sounds, sky-punching stops, vocals rattling like winter trees. On each song of Tallahatchie Reed Turchi plays and sings in full command – and in fullness of humility – among the blues storytellers whose music he has absorbed down to his marrow: Fred McDowell, North Mississippi Allstars, Furry Lewis, Elmore James, Mississippi John Hurt. His guitar and voice are saturated with that kerosene. He has made new fire. May it spread wide and far. - Kevin McIlvoy

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