Dan Reed was born in Portland and moved as a young boy to South Dakota, where he grew up on a cattle ranch. He met a Japanese exchange student who taught him to play guitar, which made him want to pursue a life as a musician. After graduating from high school, he moved back to his hometown.
Dan Reed Network was formed in Portland in 1984. Within a few years, it had become a top draw on the regional club circuit. In 1987, the band signed a record deal with Polygram. They recorded their self-titled debut album. It contained the song “Ritual,” which became a Top 40 hit in the spring of 1988. The follow up, “Slam,” was released in 1989. They returned in 1991 with “The Heat.”
The band toured the world, opening for artists such as Run D.M.C., David Bowie, Bon Jovi and the Rolling Stones.
Four years living in India and Israel informed Reed’s first solo album “Coming Up For Air.” It was released in 2010.
While touring around Europe, Reed managed to take six weeks to write material in a rented cabin on an island off the west coast of Sweden. The result was his new album “Signal Fire,” released in February. It was recorded at Zero One Studies in Prague, Czech Republic, where Reed has lived for two years.
Reed said the reaction to the new album has been positive. He feels it has less of the funk/rock style that defined Dan Reed Network. And it is heavier than his previous solo album. “I incorporated more of a band feel,” he observed. It was produced by Reed and Rob Daiker.
Reed has enjoyed his time living in Prague. His band opened for the Rolling Stones there in the early 1990s, not long after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union. “The people were so happy,” he recalled.
He returned to do a show there a few years ago. He was impressed by the architecture, noting Prague was not bombed during World War II like so many other European cities were.
There are many Australians, English and Americans living there. Prague is full of painters, novelists and musicians. And many clubs to catch music. Even on a Monday night people go out to watch bands. “That was a final selling point to me,” he said of his decision to move there.
Reed is on tour and is looking forward to his first show ever in Tacoma, scheduled for May 31 at Jazzbones. Joining him on stage will be Daiker on electric guitar and Brooke Lizotte on keyboards. Reed will play acoustic guitar and piano on some songs. Nick Moss and the Lush Tones open the show, which begins at 7 p.m. Cover charge is $10.
Fans of Dan Reed Network will want to catch their reunion show, slated for Nov. 9 at Roseland Theater in Portland. He is also working on a new solo acoustic album to be called "99 Lashes". For more information visit http://www.danreed.com