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If four Nashville songwriters who performed in-the-round that September night, three played guitar. Only one sat tall behind a keyboard. Braided hairstyles The sole piano player was Mike Reid and as his fingers deftly introduced the next song, there was an interruption. “Do you ever play in a normal key…a country key?” teased the writer at stage left. ‘Nor laughed Mike, and then continued in a smooth, unconventional E flat.

He has routinely defied expectations. A high school football standout, Reid also played at university where the music major was honoured as an All-American athlete and selected as the nation’s most outstanding collegiate lineman. A first round draft pick by the National Football League, player #74 was named Defensive Rookie of the Year after his first professional season. Braided hairstyles He was also voted to the League’s All-Pro team in both 1972 and 1973, but Mike retired shortly thereafter to pursue a career in music.

I loved the mythic component of the game,’ explains Reid. ‘There was ritual involved in how I prepared, how I dressed, how I thought of myself in that arena.’ The reality of professional football proved far less appealing. Physical damage sustained over years of play would later require repeated knee surgeries. As the game became progressively market driven, Mike found that his interest waned. He was drawn to music as the outlet for his creative energy.

He wrote his first complete song in his 20s. Time Runs Away was the name of that song, and many years later Mike is charmed and amused by a younger self who felt deeply, but didn’t have the tools to express that emotion. He wrote songs throughout his football career, and after leaving the game toured a circuit of small listening rooms, driving from town to town to perform his music. Braided hairstyles The price of admission was $1.50, barely enough for a hardworking songwriter to eke out a living, but sufficient to test his merit. Even that small sum would turn away an audience unless the music and musician were worthy.

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