By sixteen Reed was playing in a Christian rock band with musicians three time his age and experience, and by the time he went away to college, he was playing mandolin in a bluegrass band. In 2005, Reed began playing guitar with Billie Renee and Cumberland Gap, a regional bluegrass act with whom he won the SPBGMA International Band Championship in 2006. At this time, Reed graduated college and completed an original research project on the now legendary recording The Bluegrass Album, which was later cited in the official Tony Rice biography, Still Inside: The Tony Rice Story. He also began doing freelance bass work with bands like Unlimited Tradition and Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers on the side. His stint with Cumberland Gap ended in 2010 when Reed accepted the bass-playing position in the internationally-acclaimed bluegrass act Audie Blaylock and Redline. Reed toured regularly with Redline for a year and still performs with the band occasionally. While with Redline, Reed helped record I’m Going Back to Old Kentucky, which boasted several charting singles, including the number one Cry, Cry, Darlin. In 2014, the television series Backroad Gold premiered on the Travel Channel to the sound of Reed playing bass on the song he wrote as the theme for the series, further demonstrating his devotion to the honing of his craft as an instrumentalist and songwriter.