Reed Waddle gets some sand back in his shoes

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Reed Waddle gets some sand back in his shoes Reed Waddle gets some sand back in his shoes

Wildwood’s got a case of the blues this summer.

Reed Waddle, a contemporary singer-songwriter with a bluesy-rock sound, will be playing 9 p.m. Sunday nights at the Oceanic Hotel in Wildwood through Labor Day.

“My music is pretty mellow, so in some places I would not be the ideal fit, but the people here seem to enjoy it,” the singer said Thursday in a telephone interview.

Waddle is a native of Destin, Fla., who has romped through Boston and New York City, winning the grand prize at the New YorkSongwriters Circle. He was a finalist in the American Idol Songwriter Competition, and in June he took home the grand prize at the troubadour competition at 39th annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival in Colorado.

For his gig at the shore, he is calling Wildwood home.
“It’s a new place; I don’t know many people,” Waddle said. “But I know the beach pretty well, so it’s a comfort to have.”

Waddle is used to living by the beach after growing up on Florida’s GulfCoast. And he is no stranger to Cape May.

“In the ’70s my dad was a fisherman, and his boat sunk off the coast of Cape May,” Waddle said. Also a singer-songwriter, his father wrote a song about being rescued by the Coast Guard, and Waddle said he heard it frequently throughout his childhood.

Living at the Jersey shore is an adjustment after the big city, Waddle said.

“I’m still getting adjusted to it,” he said. “Compared to New York, I like that you can find somewhere to park your car and not get a ticket.”
He listed the beach and fresh seafood as definite perks.
“The beach is humongous,” he said. “The biggest beach I’ve ever seen.”

The win at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, one of the nation’s oldest music festivals, was unexpected, he said. When he submitted to the contest last year, he didn’t make the cut. So this year, when he tried out for a second time and made it, he wasn’t getting his hopes up.

“That’s usually the best way to approach these things, because if I think I’m going to win something I usually don’t,” he joked.

After playing concerts like the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, which brought in crowds of about 10,000 people, returning to lounges and bars is like returning to his roots.
“I’m happy to have a place to play and make a little money,” the musician said. “And that’s where I meet the locals, and it’s always good to meet the locals.”

The environment and the life experience are an inspiration, he said.
“I can only write about what I see – whether it’s mountains or the ocean, or things I go through.”

Reed Waddle gets some sand back in his shoes Reed Waddle gets some sand back in his shoes

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