Throughout its long history, roots music has been a crossroads of creative energy. A place where country, rock, soul, and more collide like interstate highways, all swirling around a common love: that visceral, heart-pounding expression of being alive we call “the stage.” And right there, in that central spot that knows no genre distinction, that’s where Reid Haughton lives.
A pure front man raised on the stage and steeped rock ‘n’ roll, he’s a rootsy singer-songwriter with an old soul, who just wants to plug in, crank it up and let himself go. And as his Music City career heats up, he’s putting that gritty live-show magic back where it belongs. … At the center of everything. “I don't know if I've ever been as fired up as I am right now,” the emerging River House Artists star says. “I feel like I've hit my stride. I’m making music that is true to me. I know what I want to say. And I know what I want to feel.” Now releasing an explosive self-titled EP, what Haughton wants to feel is the heat of stage lights and the power of a crowd – magnified a hundred times and captured in the studio. Mixing the momentum of rock, the heart behind Southern soul, and the songwriting tradition of country, it’s the culmination of a long, unexpected journey with a few twists and turns. But looking back now, there’s no other place it could have led. A native of Haleyville, Alabama, Haughton grew up in a tiny town just south of Muscle Shoals –and he was drawn to the music of that world-famous recording mecca from the start. Swampy, swaggering, soulful acts like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Wilson Pickett, The Rolling Stones, and more became a foundation, along with the roughneck country of Hank Williams Jr. and the ‘70s outlaws, and guitar mastery of Jimi Hendrix.
Drawn to the six-string early, Haughton actually began lessons around 7 years old, and soon after played his first gigs at a local church (it was a dry county, after all). He quickly figured out that singing and playing was more fun – for him and the crowd – and by the time he started college, the teenager was booking hours-long bar gigs around Auburn University… shows that would change him forever.
Tasked with keeping unruly undergrad crowds dancing all night, Haughton evolved into a fiery front man with an edgy electric-guitar style, and a singer with his heart on his sleeve. Those Auburn gigs soon turned into shows all over the region, and by the time he graduated, Haughton
and his band had played hundreds of concerts across the South, writing tunes geared for the stage as he went. Gradually, his originals became what fans wanted, and with heartland anthems like “Make You Mine,” “Ain’t Close to Anywhere,” “Gettin’ Over Her” and “Got the Girl,” he developed the kind of authentic identity no digital star can claim. There’s no substitute for the real thing.