Technically, music serves as a moonlighting pursuit for singer and guitarist Reed England. But he sees it as a matter of the heart nonetheless.
“Music is such a passion for me personally that I don’t consider myself a ‘weekend warrior’ so much as just a musician doing what I love, no matter what scale of performing,” he said.
Columbus residents can judge for themselves when the 44-year-old England and bandmates known as Oddz R perform Friday from 9 p.m. to midnight at The Garage Pub & Grill, 308 Fourth St. The act, together for about 18 months under that name, also will perform at Ziggie’s, 3029 N. National Road, beginning at 9 p.m. Jan. 12.
The five member group — England on lead guitar and vocals, Greg Allen on lead guitar and vocals, Brian Piercefield on bass guitar and backup vocals, Dave Redlin on drums and Ben Wever on keyboards — specializes in classic rock from the Doobie Brothers to The Band to Chicago.
Members also delve into Steely Dan, Jethro Tull and Deep Purple, among others.
The group garnered considerable local attention in August when two members of the nationally touring band Foreigner showed up at a packed Fourth Street to jam with Oddz R on the song, “Hot Blooded.” Foreigner had just finished headlining the local Rock the Park concert at Mill Race Park.
Yet, Oddz R is a sideline group to Ice Giant, an ensemble with the same lineup playing original hard rock tunes. Most of the members have played music in the Columbus area for 25 years or more.
What was the first tune you played on guitar?
“Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne. All of us have been heavy metal musicians our whole lives.
Describe what people can expect at Friday’s show.
Oddz R members pride themselves on playing many crowd-pleaser songs that keep the patrons singing along — and dancing to songs that aren’t the standard band set-list songs. Watching people sing along to songs such as “Band On The Run,” “Southern Cross,” “Listen To The Music” and others are the highlights to the show.
What is your latest project?
A yet-untitled (second) disc of original songs by us as Ice Giant — a hard rock/metal format with a modern sound. The lyrics are largely written by myself. And all members collaborate musically. Columbus’ Andy Day is producing at his studio. You can sample a few of the new songs at bandmix.com/IceGiantMusic.
What is the band’s biggest challenge?
Our biggest challenge as an original act is getting our music to people without any label exposure.