The multifaceted James Reid Band, featuring Orcas Island’s own singer/songwriter James Connell and partner Reid Spencer of North Carolina, will perform in two “Tales Tall and Tender” concerts at Orcas Center April 1 and 2 to benefit the new island initiative Recovery In Community.
Net proceeds will go to RIC to train a network of volunteer advocates to guide islanders challenged by mental health and substance abuse disorders toward the services and community support they need. Learn more at www.ricorcas.com.
In the early 1970s, the then long-haired Connell and Spencer dropped out of college and formed the band Milkweed, performing their original music throughout the Southeast with the Allman Brothers, Jimmy Buffett, Jerry Jeff Walker, Al Kooper, Wet Willie, John Hammond Jr. and others.
After the five Milkweed band members went their separate ways, Connell and Spencer lost contact for more than 40 years. But the chance iTunes posting of a recording of Spencer’s lush tune “Granma Country” led to a reunion in 2014.
Spencer and Connell located and gathered the other band members from across the country, reformed as The James Reid Band, and went on to record the highly acclaimed “Breakfast at Sunset” CD at Orcas Island’s state-of-the-art studio Bredouw’s Barn. “Breakfast at Sunset” features an eclectic collection of original tunes that made Milkweed a top attraction on the College Coffeehouse Circuit years ago. Have a listen at www.ricorcas.com.
More than anything, the two old friends are storytellers, now with a lifetime of experience to inform their individual songs and collaborations. The upcoming Orcas Center concerts will be followed by a newly recorded CD of the same name, both featuring a mix of old and new original songs that reflect the continuing folk, rock, country, blues, classical and jazz influences that have shaped their broad range of songwriting styles.