Gospel duo lifts up local music
April 19, 2010 —
Taco and Jac don’t fit easily into the stereotype of Christian musicians.
Stylish and suave, brothers André “Taco” Reed and Jacques “Jac” Reed are at once charming, chatty and urbanely sophisticated — a long way from the pop culture image of the soft-spoken acoustic guitar strummer some associate with the genre.
But, as Taco explained, Taco and Jac have never been confined by genre conventions.
“We’re Christian, but contemporary, crossover,” the exercise science senior said.
“We have pop style, rock style, gospel. We try to cover every area.
“Our audience is the world. We’re spreading the word of God.”
Taco and Jac have certainly been widening their audience and reaching more ears than ever before.
The up-and-coming musical duo released their second full-length album, We Welcome You, in October through CDBaby and Amazon digital downloads.
It was a follow-up to 2005’s Bless the Lord, an equally diverse and vibrant collection of R&B, rock and soul with praise-centered lyrics.
Taco and Jac also made their debut at the Saginaw On Stage music festival on April 3, an annual festival that celebrates the best in local music.
“It was real cool,” said Taco.
“It was different for us, it was predominantly a white crowd, but they just loved our music. They really embraced us.”
The event earned Taco and Jac coverage in both The Saginaw News and Review Magazine, raising their profile further among mainstream and local music-loving audiences.
Meanwhile, the group is preparing a full-scale tour of the state and the Midwest for summer.
These successes have been hard-earned by the group through years of performing and recording.
The brothers have been making music together their whole lives, Taco said, though they did not get serious about creating a professional touring group until 2003.
The Reeds had uncles and aunts in the gospel group Family Affair, and their parents were very musical as well.
Their mother is a music graduate of Eastern Michigan University who leads the choir program at Saginaw High School, and their father is a veteran percussionist who has played with classic gospel groups such as the Clark Singers, among others.
“What you grow up around, you become,” Jac said.
Equally strong in both men’s background was religion. Many of the Reeds’ relatives are in the ministry or hold other leadership roles in their churches, and now both Taco and Jac are as well.
Taco is a youth pastor at New Christ Community Church, while Jac works in the music department of New Covenant Christian Center. Both churches are in Saginaw.
Though their most frequent bookings are naturally in churches and religious settings, Taco and Jac continue to seek new audiences for their music — all part of their mission to bring listeners into the flock.
The group has even been in talks with Bo White, owner of Saginaw music scene institution White’s Bar, to perform there May 16.
On the seemingly odd idea of performing praise songs to God in a bar, Jac laughed.
“We going there to win souls, not drink spirits,” he joked.