One to Watch – Reed Waddle

One to Watch – Reed Waddle

A rising musical talent, Destin’s Reed Waddle has always had an ear for music. Growing up along the Emerald Coast, his family was a musical one; the 26-year-old remembers with a laugh, “My father made me learn the guitar whether I wanted to or not.”

Waddle’s first release, “Rush In,” came out in 2002, and even though it was homemade, it quickly caught the attention of 14 major labels. Seven years later, after graduating from the University of Florida, Waddle has met with enough success to transcend the moniker of “local talent.”

In 2007, he was chosen among 20 finalists from more than 25,000 contestants in the “American Idol” Songwriter Competition. Currently, Waddle can be heard on satellite radio and conventional stations all over the country. His latest album, “Piece by Piece,” came out in the summer of 2008, and he followed it up with a 15-state tour in the fall.

None of this success has gone to the musician’s head, though.

“An artist gets inspiration from anything around him, but the place where you come from is always going to shine through,” Waddle says. He doesn’t seem too concerned with those trying to package his sound and label his music country, pop, indie or Americana either, saying plainly, “I just write songs.” A quick listen to his heartfelt and emotionally packed sound will confirm that.

Sample songs and more information are available on his Web site at and at — John Eric Vona