Erica Reed / Press

“DECATUR — Most singers have a pretty good idea of what they’ll be performing when they step into the recording studio to cut an album, but not Erica Reed. After an early career of crafting her own songs the traditional way, the gospel and R&B performer had a revelation — that God had empowered her, as a Christian performer, to simply let her spur-of-the-moment singing flow without any prior planning. That’s what a listener will find on both of Reed’s albums — vocal freestyling designed to glorify god. “I had an experience that convinced me that freestyling was how I was meant to sing,” said Reed, who will perform Friday, Aug. 3 on the Decatur Celebration’s Christian Stage. “I was always a singer, but I didn’t always know that it was God’s will for me to sing. When I’m doing the freestyling, it’s so hard to describe. I know what I’m singing, but in a sense I have no idea what I’m going to be singing next. And if it isn’t recorded, I can’t remember any”

“ Erica Reed The Time is Now EDP Productions 2009 http://www.ericareed.org/ Erica Reed is a fine singer who comes from a family of church leaders. She possesses a sassy pop style that gives the collection of praise and prayer songs on her CD, The Time is Now, finger-popping attitude. Eschewing background vocalists, Reed simply multi-tracked her own voice, weaving her harmonizing alter ego in and out of the melodies like a fugue. This technique is particularly effective on “God Is Using Me.” Reed’s sound is ideally suited for the album’s R&B-fueled songs “My God is Everything,” the catchy “Walk By Faith,” and “Anything But Fail.” The delightful “Holding On to My Faith” is the album’s finest track, with a repeating sample of what sounds like a slide guitar supporting Reed’s playful soprano. The soulfulness of “Been So Good” runs a close second. On “Where Would My Life Be,” the music and Reed’s singing come close to sounding like what would”