Photo by M. Bosh • Montrose Harbor, Chicago
Chicago-based singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Mike Reeb embraces Americana and folk music through original songs framed by the Second City. His 2021 single '60625' alone offers multiple city references, a rumbling CTA train field recording, and a Benjamin Ezra illustrated album cover highlighting the moonrise over Lake Michigan. Chicago ties aside, Reeb's original songs should land easy for fans of Justin Townes Earle, Hank Williams, The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, Merle Haggard, and June Carter Cash.
Reeb's latest release of original music, Second City Skyline: Side A, features Lukas Simpson on mandolin (an homage to Bill Monroe who lived in East Chicago, Indiana in the 1930s), Rebekah Osborn on background vocals, Justin Howard on tenor banjo, and Brian Wilkie (The Hoyle Brothers) on pedal steel guitar. Listen to this release and a handful of other Mike Reeb albums/EPs any time on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, or any digital music platform.
Since his debut solo release in 2004, Mike Reeb has shared the stage with such artists as Pieta Brown, Joe Pug, Phoebe Bridgers, Alejandro Escovedo, Gaby Moreno, Denison Witmer, Sleeping at Last, and Brooke Annibale at such venues as Schubas Tavern (Chicago), The Hideout (Chicago), Double Door (Chicago), Rockwood Music Hall (NYC), Hotel Cafe (LA), Listening Room Cafe (Nashville), Do317 Lounge (Indianapolis), Duffy's Tavern (Lincoln, NE), Czar Bar (KC), Room 5 (LA), SoFar Sounds (Louisville), The Frequency (Madison, WI), and Rumba Cafe (Columbus, OH).
"'It's Been a Real Hard Year' is an acoustic reminder of Young's Harvest days, while the message and music of 'What Are You Fighting For?' and 'The City Would Win' pay homage, at least in part, to the grittier side of the influential Canadian." - NUVO Indianapolis, 2011
"He keeps drawing positive reviews and comparisons to music legends. Names like Dylan and Springsteen are often thrown out too loosely when used to describe up-and-coming artists. In Reeb's case, however, the connections may be warranted." - Chicago Tribune, 2008
"'Love Won't Hold You Down' carries a Will Hoge and David Gray pop/rock recipe to success." - NUVO Indy, 2011
"While there never seems to be a shortage of earnest singer-songwriters ever so blatantly brandishing their tattered hearts on their worn and weathered sleeves, there are a surprisingly few as thoughtful and talented as Mike Reeb. With songs like the Dylan-esque ‘Ease Up Or Give Up The Fight,’ the tender ‘Oxford Street,’ and the sarcastic, yet introspective ‘Consequences,’ it's entirely possible that with these and the rest of the songs off Without The City Lights, the Midwest can have their very own Bruce Springsteen." - Illinois Entertainer, 2007
"Without The City Lights is a stripped down affair showcasing Reeb's songwriting with very little embellishment.... [He] has a pleading vocal tone that is reminiscent of early Bill Mallonee, which brings the longing out of songs like ‘Oh, We Need A Change’ and ‘Consequences.’ Without The City Lights exhibits a singer-songwriter who wears his influences on his sleeve, but doesn't slide into mimicry." - AmericanaRoots.com, 2006
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