Reed Stutz brings a powerful rhythmic sensibility and evocative, soulful energy to string band music. Adept as a multi-instrumentalist and singer (mandolin, guitar, banjo), he is fueled by a love for old time and early bluegrass, and his inclination to dig into their roots has fed a distinctive sound with colorful blending of tradition and personality. Close study of Bill Monroe’s mandolin style serves as one anchor to Reed's sound, off which he has delicately constructed a hard-driving, fiery edge woven into tender expressiveness. Regardless the instrument, these qualities come through in his music.
Collaborations have taken him to stages and festivals across the country, as a member Molsky’s Mountain Drifters (Bruce Molsky, Allison de Groot) and with musicians including Alice Gerrard, Tatiana Hargreaves, Bella White, Joe Troop, Joseph Decosimo and Laura Orshaw. His playing and singing can be heard on Bella White’s acclaimed Rounder Records album “Just Like Leaving,” Joe Troop’s “Borrowed Time,” Laura Orshaw’s “Solitary Diamond,” and a forthcoming album from Alice Gerrard.
Growing up in Portland, Oregon as a pop-punk guitar player, singer and songwriter, Reed shifted focus in 2017 after being struck by the energy and emotion of a 1920s string band recording. He began digging into old time and bluegrass and developing his style. Reed completed a capstone project before graduating from Berklee College of Music exploring the mandolin playing of David McLaughlin, where he transcribed thirty solos of David’s playing with the Johnson Mountain Boys. His close study of David McLaughlin and other sources of inspiration across bluegrass and old time are apparent in the intentionality of playing. This also comes across in his teaching, where he has worked for six years giving private lessons and taught at camps including Augusta's Old Time Week, Ashokan's Bluegrass Week and the Old-Time Rollick.
Reed moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 2022 and performs regularly in the area with a variety of bluegrass and old time groups. He is available for private lessons locally or online.
"I love the fact that Reed deep dives into his music, searching for the secrets that might reveal its soul, and in spite of the fact that he is an amazing teacher himself, always wants to learn. He is an amazing mandolin player, a fine singer and guitar player, has a good sense of humor and is lovely to work with. And he’s a pretty good cook." — Alice Gerrard