Dr. Gregory Reish

Director of the Center for Popular Music, Professor of Musicology

Dr. Gregory Reish
615-898-2449
Room 140, John Bragg Media and Entertainment Building (BRAGG)
MTSU Box 41, Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Degree Information

  • PHD, University of Georgia (2001)
  • MA, University of Georgia (1993)
  • BM, University of Miami (1988)

Biography

Greg Reish is Director of the Center for Popular Music and Professor of Musicology at Middle Tennessee State University. A Fulbright award winner to Italy during his PhD studies, he went on to teach at the University of Hawai'i at Hilo, Buffalo State College, and Chicago’s Roosevelt University before coming to MTSU in 2014. In Spring 2023 he will be the Fulbright-García Robles U.S. Studies Chair at the University of Veracruz.

After establishing himself as an authority on ...

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Greg Reish is Director of the Center for Popular Music and Professor of Musicology at Middle Tennessee State University. A Fulbright award winner to Italy during his PhD studies, he went on to teach at the University of Hawai'i at Hilo, Buffalo State College, and Chicago’s Roosevelt University before coming to MTSU in 2014. In Spring 2023 he will be the Fulbright-García Robles U.S. Studies Chair at the University of Veracruz.

After establishing himself as an authority on twentieth-century Italian music, Dr. Reish now focuses on old-time country, bluegrass, South Texas conjunto, and other traditional musics of the American South. He has also spent time in Veracruz, Mexico, researching the regional genre called son jarocho. He has recently developed new courses in the MTSU curriculum on bluegrass music and Mexican/Tejano music.

An accomplished singer and a performer, Dr. Reish plays guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, fiddle, bajo sexto, jarana jarocha, guitarra de son, and other stringed instruments. He has given concerts, lecture-recitals, and workshops across much of the U.S., as well as in Mexico, Italy, Canada, Japan, and China. He performs on bajo sexto (Mexican 12-string bass guitar) as a member of Panfilo's Güera and Los Tremendos Bárbaros. He has also lectured widely on a broad range of topics, from early twentieth-century Italian modernism, to traditional Anglo American fiddling in the U.S. South, to archival practices and sound preservation strategies.

Dr. Reish released a duo album entitled Speed of the Plow with old-time fiddler Matt Brown, and produced albums for the Center for Popular Music’s Spring Fed Records, including Home Made Sugar and a Puncheon Floor (home recordings by Howdy Forrester and John Hartford), Old School Polkas del Ghost Town (Lorenzo Martinez and Rabbit Sanchez), Tennessee Breakdown (Austin Derryberry and Trenton Caruthers) and Stole from the Throat of a Bird: The Complete Recordings of Ed and Ella Haley. He has also engineered, mixed, and mastered various albums for Spring Fed Records. 

His recent scholarship includes articles for The Grove Dictionary of American Music, chapters in the Oxford Handbook of Country Music and Honky Tonk on the Left collections, a co-edited book entitled Music and Tyranny, and a contextualized musical anthology entitled John Hartford’s Mammoth Collection of Fiddle Tunes. He currently has two books forthcoming: a collection of recent scholarship on bluegrass music (co-edited with Lee Bidgood), and a compedium of interviews addressing "old-time" music in the twenty-first century (co-edited with Dan Margolies). He is also preparing book chapters on the Norteño-Tejano huapango (an indigenous form of music and dance) and contemporary jarocho fusion music.

Reish has been the recipient and primary investigator for numerous grants, from sources including the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Grammy Foundation, and the Fulbright program. He is a voting member of the Recording Academy (Grammys) in the Producers and Engineers category, and is also the weekly host of Lost Sounds on Roots Radio WMOT, which can be heard throughout middle Tennessee and streaming on the web.

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