Reed Kendall
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Reed Kendall

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF
Band Pop Acoustic

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"ABC's "Tuned In" segment"

http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/entertainment&id=6876159 - ABC


"Lyndzapalooza Interview (May 11, 2009)"

It’s difficult to go to an open mic in the Philadelphia area and find someone who doesn’t know Reed Kendall.

Whether it be Fergie’s or the Dawson Street Pub, Buckets or LP's Intermezzo, Reed definitely is a household name in the Philly music scene. With upbeat, uplifting originals and fun, sing-a-long covers, he can get any house bopping their heads and leaves everyone always wanting more.

Over the last year, Reed has put together his band, Up the Chain, consisting of a mash up of some of Philadelphia’s most talented and ever-present musicians. We interviewed Reed to find out more about his upcoming projects, the evolution of his music, his place in the Philadelphia local music scene, and how one man can juggle an ever changing band.

LP: Tell us about Up the Chain. How did the project start?

RK: Up the Chain started a year ago when I walked over to Milkboy Recording in Ardmore to record a 4 song demo. I had met a few local musicians from having recorded a CD in high school, but knew practically nothing about the music scene in Philly. I began spending most of my nights at open mics or out at shows of local artists that I was very slowly becoming aware of. I'm still doing this now.

LP: Where did the name come from?

RK: The name came from the 2 minute 15 second mark of this clip...

It was also the name of a floor hockey team I was on in high school. "Up the Chain" has nothing to do with "off the chain" or my ambition, two common misconceptions.

LP: You are absolutely ubiquitous at Philly open mics, and you're always wielding your four track Up the Chain demo. What is the story behind the CD?

RK: A year ago I realized it was time for me to start taking my music seriously. I walked over to Milkboy Recording and asked them if they could help me find musicians to make a demo. The idea of working with a couple of the guys from Townhall was very appealing, so we took three days and recorded that demo.

As far as open mics go, I'm a firm believer in playing as much as physically possible. The more I play the more things seem to fall into place.

LP: Many of your songs have a very positive spin. Do you deliberately write positive music?

RK: No. I'm not good at deliberately writing anything. I think I'm generally a positive person, so that's probably what you see coming through.

LP: You're currently in the middle of a residency at Milkboy Coffee, where you're recording a live album. How did that come about?

RK: I've been going to the open mic there for years. Even before I went to open mics with a purpose of spreading the word about what I was doing, I went for fun. So when I finally recorded a CD and put a band together I knew that was one of the places I wanted to call home. Tommy, one of the owners of Milkboy, suggested we do the recording residency. How could I say no?

LP: Up the Chian has a floating roster of some of Philly's best musicians. How do you manage the songs and arrangements when jamming with so many different players?

RK: Having different players at each show can be tough. I have a notebook where I write down who I have on what gig, because I would certainly forget. I try to keep the arrangements fundamentally the same. When things change while we are playing live, everyone listens and plays well enough to roll with it. Sometimes we get stuck somewhere, but that's the nature of live music.

LP: Is there a difference between "Reed Kendall" and "Up the Chain"?

RK: My name is Reed Kendall and I'm in the band Up the Chain. That's the way I like to think of it. Right now there are a lot of people who are also in the band Up the Chain, haha.

LP: What was your greatest musical accomplishment in the past year?

RK: As far as my career goes, which I think is what you're getting at, Up the Chain has had one show at the Tin Angel which was to a sold out crowd. I feel like that really gave me some confidence and momentum.

As far as my musicianship goes, over the past year I've played a variety of instruments in the background of a variety of bands. My greatest musical accomplishment involves starting to learn how to train my ear. I've made a lot of progress, but have a very, very long way to go.

LP:What can your fans look forward to in the upcoming year?

Its hard to say really. I just want to keep learning and growing. I find it hard to plan too far in advance. In the next couple months you will see a newly released "Live @ Milkboy" CD, appearances on NBC's The 10! show and ABC's Tuned In, and another gig at the Tin Angel.

I'm also starting to think about traveling around. My good friend Suzie Brown, another Lyndzapaloser (ha), and I are going to be playing shows in Boston and NYC at the end of June. Maybe and hopefully year two of Up the Chain will involve trying to replicate what we've been doing here in Philly in other cities and towns on the east coast.

LP: What have you done to elicit audience engagement in your performan - Lyndzapalooza


"MyJoog blog review"

At the Dewey Beach Music Conference, one of the first acts I saw was a solo act by Reed Kendall from Up the Chain. He was really impressive musically and evidently very serious professionally. He followed up after the conference by sending me two CDs, an EP and Live @ Milkboy, a live CD from recorded over several nights at the Milkboy in Ardmore PA. This recording consists of the entire Up the Chain band - with trumpet, bass, keyboard, and drums - a completely different sound than as a solo performer. This assembly played out well in the first track, "It's Not Alright", where the trumpet is evident the entire song as well as a nice keyboard solo. There's also a nice blending of the acoustic and electric guitars in "My Wings" - plus more trumpet. I tell you, adding a horn section makes this CD completely different from many equivalent singer-songwriter genre bands. The next several tracks portray Kendell's talent s a singer songwriter and were close to his performance in Dewey Beach. In these songs, the rest of the band blends well together in the background - with the trumpet once again adding a nice touch. "Snap a G-String Jam" is a groovy jazz selection and "Then I Started Questioning" is an interesting song of self-introspection. "Silver Stone" - contained on both CDs - is my favorite. Once again, a nice syncing of the entire band. Reed Kendall and Up the Chain play through the east coast - they are worth a closer look. - MyJoog


""Things We Like""

Up the Chain (MilkBoy Studios)
Young and unsigned, the hard-working acoustic collective Up the Chain recently had its CD release party at MilkBoy Coffee in Ardmore, home to band leader Reed Kendall. Their jazzy live shows aren’t to be missed—think Dave Matthews meets Jack Johnson, complete with trumpet. The roster of elite local musicians is ever-changing, which makes for an unpredictable listening experience. Catch them live the first three Sundays in November at Roxborough’s Blinkin Lincoln Room (blinkinlincoln.com). Visit myspace.com/upthechain.com.


http://www.mainlinetoday.com/Main-Line-Today/November-2009/Things-We-Like/ - Main Line Today


"MyJoog blog review"

At the Dewey Beach Music Conference, one of the first acts I saw was a solo act by Reed Kendall from Up the Chain. He was really impressive musically and evidently very serious professionally. He followed up after the conference by sending me two CDs, an EP and Live @ Milkboy, a live CD from recorded over several nights at the Milkboy in Ardmore PA. This recording consists of the entire Up the Chain band - with trumpet, bass, keyboard, and drums - a completely different sound than as a solo performer. This assembly played out well in the first track, "It's Not Alright", where the trumpet is evident the entire song as well as a nice keyboard solo. There's also a nice blending of the acoustic and electric guitars in "My Wings" - plus more trumpet. I tell you, adding a horn section makes this CD completely different from many equivalent singer-songwriter genre bands. The next several tracks portray Kendell's talent s a singer songwriter and were close to his performance in Dewey Beach. In these songs, the rest of the band blends well together in the background - with the trumpet once again adding a nice touch. "Snap a G-String Jam" is a groovy jazz selection and "Then I Started Questioning" is an interesting song of self-introspection. "Silver Stone" - contained on both CDs - is my favorite. Once again, a nice syncing of the entire band. Reed Kendall and Up the Chain play through the east coast - they are worth a closer look. - MyJoog


Discography

"Live @ Milkboy" (2009): 14-track live album
"Holy, Open, Drying Road" (2011): debut LP
"Seeds and Thorns" (2013): follow-up LP (not yet released)

Photos

Bio

Evidenced by his confidence and authority on stage, Reed Kendall brings years of touring and writing experience to his craft. As the leader of Philadelphia band Up the Chain, Reed has toured the East Coast extensively in the past several years, playing over 100 schools, both with his band and solo/duo, and is preparing to release his second album, Seeds & Thorns, this summer. The new record captures a beautiful balance of the essence of his songwriting, which illuminates the way most of the songs were conceived, simply on piano and guitar. After spending six months in New Zealand observing the culture and writing about his American experiences, Reed Kendall is ready to take the new music out to his fans, one sincere live performance at a time.