Reid Paley

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Reid Paley
OriginBrooklyn, New York, United States
Occupation(s)Singer, Songwriter, Musician
InstrumentsVocals, Guitar
Years active1980 - present
LabelsMetaphor Rhythms, XXS, eMusic, GoodNoise, Sub Pop, Sonic Unyon, Cooking Vinyl
Associated actsPaley & Francis, Frank Black, Black Francis, Eric Drew Feldman, The Five

Reid Paley (born in Brooklyn, New York) is an American singer, songwriter, and musician who has been performing and recording both solo and with his trio since the mid-1990s.

Early career[edit]

In the 1980s, Paley was singer, front man, and writer for post-punk blues-band-from-hell The Five, which he founded in Pittsburgh, PA. In the first year of the band's existence The Five released limited pressings of a vinyl single "Napalm Beach b/w Excite Me" and an EP Act of Contrition. The band later moved to Boston and spent several years headlining clubs and playing to enthusiastic crowds before breaking up in the late 1980s. A vinyl LP entitled The Five was released posthumously.

Solo work / Reid Paley Trio[edit]

Returning to Brooklyn in the early 1990s, Paley continued writing and began performing solo in rock clubs on the Lower East Side, singing his songs and playing a 1955 Gretsch archtop guitar plugged into a 1965 Fender Super Reverb amplifier.

After a series of self-released tapes available only at shows, Sub Pop released his solo debut, the vinyl single "Time For You" b/w "The Best Of All". Paley's first solo album Lucky's Tune was produced by Frank Black (formerly and again Black Francis), and released by GoodNoise in 1999. This was followed in 2000 by the album Revival, featuring Paley accompanied by Robert Lee Oliver on the three-string bass and James Murray on the trap kit, and produced by Eric Drew Feldman, who along with Jim Duffy also guests on the album. The album was released by eMusic, and is the first recorded appearance of the Reid Paley Trio.

Throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s, Paley played across the US and Western Europe, including numerous tours as support for Frank Black. Paley and Black have also collaborated on the writing of a number of songs, some of which appear on the Frank Black albums Honeycomb ("Another Velvet Nightmare"), Fast Man Raider Man ("I'm Not Dead (I'm In Pittsburgh)", "Golden Shore", "Dog Sleep", "Down To You"), and Christmass ("Don't Get Me Wrong"). A Frank Black & the Catholics recording of Paley's "Take What You Want" appears on their limited edition single "Everything Is New."

Paley toured the UK in 2004 and 2006, and plays the occasional festival, including the Vienna Festwochen/Into The City in Vienna, Austria (with Eric Drew Feldman sitting in on keys), and the Blues Rules Festival in Crissier, Switzerland in May 2010 (with Jerome O'Brien sitting in on upright bass).

In 2007 the album Approximate Hellhound vs The Monkey Demon was released by Metaphor Rhythms. It was produced by Paley and, like all his previous releases, was recorded on analog tape. On this album he was accompanied by Eric Eble on Czechoslovakian upright bass and James Murray on the trap kit. As of 2012, this remains the current lineup of the Reid Paley Trio.

Reid Paley lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Paley & Francis[edit]

In the fall of 2010 in Nashville, Reid Paley and Black Francis/Frank Black recorded an album of new songwriting collaborations, appearing under the moniker Paley & Francis.

The Paley & Francis album (also titled Paley & Francis) was produced by Jon Tiven, and features Reid Paley and Black Francis on guitars and vocals, accompanied by Muscle Shoals legends Spooner Oldham on piano and David Hood on bass. The album was released in October 2011 on Sonic Unyon in North America, and on Cooking Vinyl in the UK & Europe.[1][2]

Paley & Francis debuted live in early September 2011 with club performances in Albany NY, Buffalo NY, and Hamilton Ontario (unannounced), and as one of the headliners of Hamilton Ontario's Supercrawl Festival. The band for these performances consisted of Reid Paley & Black Francis on guitars and vocals, Eric Eble (of the Reid Paley Trio) on bass, and Dave Varriale on drums.


Reid Paley

  • "One of America's best -- and most underrated -- songwriters." --PopMatters (Jennifer Kelly)[3]
  • "What? You want some kind of description of the artist and his music? Just fucking listen to the guy and enjoy his prowess." -- Frank Black a.k.a. Black Francis[4]
  • "He's got mischief in his eye, Elvis in his joints, and booze everywhere else." --NY Rock (Jeanne Fury)[5]
  • "Everyone has a favorite drinking album, be it Sinatra's Only the Lonely or the Old 97's' Too Far to Care. Right now, mine is Revival (on emusic), the second full-length by Reid Paley." -- Seattle Weekly (Kurt B. Reighley) [6]
  • "Just another impossibly excellent piece of work flying low, under the radar..."—Ink 19 (James MacLaren) [7]
  • "It’s so distinctive that it takes a while for your listening organs to balance the gruff, hoarse voice with the excellent playing but the vocals fits perfectly with the honestly drunk blues of ‘Stay Awhile’ or the funny/profane ‘Yr Polish Uncle’. That song displays the other good thing about this record, the foul-mouthed and dark wit that produces lines like “shut your mouth and you’ll piss yourself a story/ about the spastic monkey and the whore” over a frenetic rock’n’roll rhythm that will have your spitting your dinner over the stereo in mirth." -- Sounds XP UK (Ged) [8]
  • "The Reid Paley Trio is simply rock and roll distilled to its purest form – a form that harkens back to when parents feared it, before Disney marketed it to pre-pubescents, before more people bought video games simulating playing a guitar than actually picked up a recording of someone playing a guitar.."—Jezebel Music (Brian Salvatore)[9]
  • "So many critics wax how Reid Paley is underrated, undiscovered talent -- but it's actually true. He's an immensely talented singer-guitarist-songwriter. When you listen to that subtly swinging rock and his deep bellow, it's easy to tell something special is afoot. This is the "real thing", but it doesn't comfortably fit in any category to reach the masses." --Cheap Thrills (Rob V)[10]

Paley & Francis

  • "What you get is two compelling performers and their songs...The fact that Paley and Francis wrote this album together over the course of three afternoons and then recorded it in two is part of its charm."—Boston Phoenix [11]
  • "...the first full-length collaboration between Reid Paley and Black Francis winds up getting better the more you play it." - American Songwriter [12]
  • "Their voices and dark humor blend wonderfully—Francis' mid-range singing lifts Paley's deeper, more resonant sound, and the former's wit and word play are anchored by the other's irony and sarcasm...every song's a gem." - - Valley Advocate [13]
  • "...a great record from two musicians that sound like they’ve always played together." - - Slug Magazine [14]
  • "Despite the speed with which they were written and recorded the album never feels rushed or half hearted. There is a clear chemistry between the pair and without it they would not be able to pull off an album of this calibre in such a short space of time ...a strangely compelling listen." - - Tape to Tape UK [15]
  • " Paley & Francis their rapport is evident. Many listeners will have high expectations of Black Francis, and they won’t be disappointed." - - [16]
  • "...the songs come from a real place and, stripped of the luxury of endless edits and rewrites, cut right to the heart." - - [17]
  • "’s now been proven that if you stick two prolific songwriters in a hotel suite for a couple of days, they’ll come out with a killer LP." - - Pop Damage [18]
  • Album of the Week - - QRO Magazine [19]


Reid Paley

Paley & Francis


  1. ^ "Reid Paley & Black Francis: Paley & Francis". American Songwriter. 18 Oct 2011.
  2. ^ "Album Review: Paley & Francis – Paley and Francis". Consequence of Sound. 18 Oct 2011.
  3. ^ Jennifer Kelly (14 Sep 2007). "The Brutal Truth at Last: An Interview with Reid Paley". PopMatters.
  4. ^ Frank Black. "Reid Paley - Revival". XXS Records.
  5. ^ Jeanne Fury. "Reid Paley at Meow Mix". NY Rock.
  6. ^ "Reid Paley - Page 1 - Music". Seattle Weekly.
  7. ^ "MUSIC REVIEW: Reid Paley. Revival • Ink 19". October 20, 2001.
  8. ^ "Reid Paley Trio Approximate Hellhound vs The Monkey Demon". Sounds XP.
  9. ^ "Feature: Reid Paley".
  10. ^ V, Rob. "THUR 5/1: May Day Cheapness".
  11. ^ "Boston Phoenix :: CD Reviews: Paley & Francis".
  12. ^ "Reid Paley & Black Francis: Paley & Francis « American Songwriter". October 18, 2011.
  13. ^ "CD Shorts". November 17, 2011.
  14. ^ "National CD Reviews". SLUG Magazine. August 31, 2011.
  15. ^ "TAPEtoTAPE:: Album Reviews: Paley & Francis".
  16. ^ "Shout4Music :: Album Reviews: Paley & Francis – 'Paley & Francis'".
  17. ^ "".
  18. ^ "Pop DMG – Your Choice of Music".
  19. ^ "Paley & Francis : Paley & Francis".

External links[edit]