Greg Reish has been making music the focus of his life for forty years. Playing folk music, jazz, rock, and bluegrass through most of his childhood in Atlanta, he went on to study jazz guitar at the University of Miami, worked as a freelance musician in Nashville, then earned master’s and doctoral degrees in historical musicology from the University of Georgia. He received a Fulbright grant to study the music of Italian composer Giacinto Scelsi in Rome, and served on the faculty of the University of Georgia, the University of Hawaii-Hilo, Buffalo State College, and Chicago's Roosevelt University before accepting his current position as Director of The Center for Popular Music at Middle Tennessee State University.
Greg's performance and study of traditional American music concentrate on the rural, mostly southern music of the 1920s through the 1940s, encompassing such styles as old time, hillbilly (early country), country blues, ragtime, and bluegrass. As a scholar, Greg specializes in historical guitar styles of American vernacular music, and the evolution of the country string band. He has lectured and presented widely on these topics, often presenting lecture-recitals and hands-on workshops. He also collaborated
with the late Mike Seeger and conducted research in the Archive of Folk Culture at the Library of Congress. Currently he is writing a book on the history of Old-Time Guitar Styles, and is a contributing author to the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Country Music.
A guitarist first and foremost, Greg is adept on banjo, fiddle, mandolin, ukulele, and dulcimer as well. Having performed across the U.S. and overseas, some of Greg's more noteworthy gigs include opening for Roger McGuinn and playing for Japanese dignitaries at the American Embassy in Tokyo. In 2007 he undertook a week-long solo tour of Japan, performing in six cities.
Greg's collaboration with Matt Brown began in Chicago in 2010, when Matt made a guest appearance at the opening show of Greg's Kitchen Girl Coffee House series. Since then Greg and Matt have performed together at dances, made radio appearances, co-hosted jams, and put together special historical-musical programs like their Appalachian Fiddlers presentation. Their musical partnership continues to flourish with Speed of the Plow, an exciting and wide-ranging collection of old-time fiddle and guitar duets.