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Reed Grimm joins 'Girl Singers' on Red Wing stage

Vocalist Colleen Raye (left) with her son Reed Grimm, daughter Sophie Grimm and sister Debbie O’Keefe will perform holiday songs made from the 1950s next Monday at the Sheldon Theatre in Red Wing. (Rivertowns photo)

By Ruth Nerhaugen 

Reed Grimm’s life hasn’t been the same since he appeared on “American Idol” last year.

And he’s loving every step of the adventure.

Grimm will perform with his mother, Colleen Raye, Aunt Debbie O’Keefe and sister, Sophie Grimm, in a “Girl Singers Christmas Show Experience” next Monday at the Sheldon Theatre in Red Wing, but then he’ll be taking off for new experiences of his own.

On New Year’s Eve, instead of performing with the family in a traditional show in Hudson, Grimm has been invited to entertain the troops in Kuwait.

Soon after that, he’ll be heading out to California with a fellow Ellsworth High School graduate, James Patrick (Class of 2001), who has landed a job as head of wedge design for Titlist golf company. Grimm will work on creative projects such as music for online videos and brand aesthetics.

Grimm has been a performer pretty much all his life. He made his stage debut when he was around age two as a member of the family show developed by his parents, Colleen Raye and the late Steve Grimm.

He doesn’t specifically remember singing “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” at the Sheldon Theatre that Christmas, but “We have a recording of it,” so he knows it’s true.

After graduating from EHS in 2003, he studied percussion performance at UW-La Crosse. Grimm has been lead singer, drummer and co-writer of songs for the band “Shoeless Revolution” for about nine years.

Grimm was a contestant on ‘American Idol” in January-February 2012, appearing on national television several times before getting bounced in the semi-finals. He ended up in a three-way tie for 14th place.

“Life is wild” since then, he said, explaining he has been traveling around the country doing shows, including private parties and charity events.

Grimm also has performed around the Twin Cities, singing with other musicians as well as doing solo appearances, and performed daily at the Minnesota State Fair in 2012.

“I enjoy making music,” so the adventure has been great fun, he said. “It definitely helped the career” to appear on TV before such a large audience.

In addition, he is active in an organization called Massive Amounts of Good, which he said “uses arts and the creative process to bring people together in the nonprofit world.”

The organization, directed by another Ellsworth man, Dr. Turner Berg, puts on concerts to raise money and awareness. A recent four-day tour to Minneapolis, La Crosse, Madison and Detroit was filmed and will become a promotional piece, he said.

Spending the holiday season on stage with the family suits him just fine.

“I have to keep working,” he explained. “It’s such a blessing to be able to do both”--be with family and perform. “I can have my cake and eat it, too.”

At Monday’s Sheldon event, Grimm will play drums, back up “the beautiful ladies” and perform a couple of solos--Louis Armstrong’s “Zat You Santa Claus?” and “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town.”

Raye, Sophie Grimm and O’Keefe will be performing holiday music in the style of 1950s vocalists including the Lennon, Andrews and Maguire Sisters. Like an old-fashioned Christmas TV special, the show will include audience participation, sing-alongs and surprises.

Soon after Christmas, Grimm will be off to Kuwait, then to California.

“I don’t know how long I’ll be there,” Grimm said. “I don’t know where life is going to go. Opportunities come, but you never know where they’re going to lead.”