Preston Reed

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Though he never became as well-known, Preston Reed gives Leo Kottke a run for his money in sheer dynamics and melodic invention, and his aggressive guitar playing often sounds like two guitarists. Preston Reed's "A Day at the Races" and "Suite Hoodeet" are every bit as wild as Kottke's "Driving of the Year Nail." The recording atmosphere is similarly dark and throaty. Reed is not as great a bottleneck player, but still this record reminds us that there was a whole school of flamboyant American primitive guitarists working the clubs in the 1980s before new age took the teeth out of the genre.