11 Questions to a Nashville Musician: Betty Reed

Betty Reed (Photo by Taylor Napier)Photo by Taylor Napier

Do great-sounding Pop songs about meaningless crap just leave you with an empty feeling? Instead, you should check out Betty Reed’s first single, “Karma” from her upcoming new EP, “Mistakes Made, Lessons Learned,” which comes out on September 3. Betty is a graduate of Berklee College of Music with a BA in vocal performance who made her recording debut last year releasing several singles. A second single, “Misunderstood,” from the new EP drops this coming Friday.

Says Reed: “I decided to make this the first release because it truly captures the flavor and feel of what I’m trying to convey in the overall theme of the EP… independence, standing up for oneself, moving forward from past mistakes.”

Thanks, Betty, for spending some time with 11 Questions. We look forward to hearing the rest of the EP and seeing you play!

Where are you from originally, when did you move to Nashville and why?

I grew up in Newton, MA. After graduating from Berklee College of Music in 2018, I considered moving to either LA or Nashville. Two very big, but very different music scenes. I felt that Nashville had more to offer when it came to gigging locally and finding other songwriters to collaborate with. I love it here and feel like I picked the right place to call home.

What are the first and the last records you bought, and where did you buy them? Were they CD, vinyl or digital?

The first CD I ever bought was Now That’s What I Call Music! I think it was the 8th compilation in the series. My sister bought most of them and my dad still has all these “Now” CDs in his house! The last album I streamed from beginning to end was Demi Lovato’s new album, Dancing with the Devil…the Art of Starting Over. I was a big fan of hers when I was in high school and I think this last album is so authentic and raw and truly showcases how she has grown as an artist.

First and last live concerts that you’ve seen?

My dad took me to my first concert with my older sister. I was eight, she was 11. Of course, none other than “It’s Britney, Bitch” on The Dream Within A Dream Tour. And it was an amazing first show! I remember thinking, “I want to do that!” The last concert I went to before the pandemic was Live on the Green in downtown Nashville. I haven’t seen a live show since restrictions have been lifted, but I’m gearing up to make up for lost time.

Whose star should be added to the Music City Walk of Fame?

Without a doubt, John Prine. It’s truly baffling that he isn’t there.

Where do you go in Nashville for coffee and pizza?

For my coffee fix it’s either Just Love Coffee Café or Milk & Honey. For pizza I recently discovered DeSano. It’s incredibly good!

What’s your favorite record to ever come out of Nashville?

Country music wasn’t big in Boston when I was growing up, so I didn’t hear a lot of it. It has since gotten much bigger because there are now country radio stations and country music festivals in the area. But in 2009, I heard Miranda Lambert’s Revolution album and I was blown away. It’s still one of my favorite albums. I loved how fierce the songs were. And it’s one of the qualities I really admire in her and how she conveys her strong personality in her songwriting and performances.

Where’s the best place to eat late night after a show?

The Baked Bear has become my to go to spot for late night food. Their ice cream sandwiches are hard to resist after a long night out.

The Bluebird calls and asks you to host an In the Round.” Pick three local songwriters to join you.

So, if I couldn’t get Sheryl Crow, Miranda Lambert, or Taylor Swift to join me, I’d invite some of the friends I’ve met while playing local bars in Nashville.

What are your favorite music venues to play in town?

The Row, Belcourt Taps, Bold Patriot Brewing (where I just filmed my latest music video). I’ll really miss Douglas Corner (RIP).

Name a musician who you’d like to see move here.

I would love to meet and collaborate with Marie Ulven, the Norwegian songwriter who goes by the name “Girl in Red.” I love her song “Serotonin.” Nearly all of her songs dig deep into issues around relationships and dealing with depression in a way that really captures how I feel sometimes. She just seems like someone I could totally relate to if she wanted to come hang out with me in Nashville.

Finally, what’s in your musical future?

In my “just around the corner” future is the release of my debut EP, Mistakes Made, Lessons Learned. I will release three singles (“Karma,” “Misunderstood,” and “Happy”) from the EP ahead of the September 3, 2021 release. So, all summer long I will drop singles and hopefully do some live shows to promote the EP. In my “a little ways off” future, I’d like to get one of those refurbished live-in vans, head out of Nashville and do some road-trip touring. It’s been a while since I played to an audience, and I’m itching to get back to that. In the past, I’ve played solo with my guitar, but I would like to get a band together and play the songs from the EP with the full instrumentation.

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