Will Reid can’t recall a time when he didn’t sing.

“I grew up that way,” he said. “Some people whistle a tune; I’m singing.”

Reid, 28, is an accomplished singer-songwriter with a hit single, “Albuquerque,” that’s charted on “MusicRow CountryBreakout Radio." His first CD, recorded in Nashville, Tennessee, in February, is due out later this year.

He started playing guitar as a teenager, formed a bluegrass band with his high school buddies and played cakewalks, churches and festivals around the Shenandoah Valley until they all graduated.

“Before I was old enough to walk, there’s a picture of me in a cowboy hat and guitar,” said Reid. “For Halloween, I’d go as a country music singer. I always wanted to do it but never thought it was possible.”

Reid was studying forestry at a college that required a summer internship, so in 2015 he joined BARC Electric’s right-of-way crew. Then the co-op offered him a full-time job. Reid transitioned to an apprentice lineworker and advanced to a journeyman after completing the rigorous training at the VMDAEC Training Center in October 2020.

“Being competitive myself, coming up through VMDAEC’s Line Technician Apprenticeship Program, Will motivated me, not only in the classroom, but in the air,” said JT Jacobs, Reid’s classmate at VMDAEC Training Center and now the center’s manager of safety training. “Whether in the apprenticeship program, or at the Gaff-n-Go Rodeo, we both share a mutual love for linework and music.”

In 2021, Reid got his break into music in his hometown of Rockbridge, Virginia, where he grew up on BARC’s power lines.

He was with his parents at a restaurant where a musician he knew was playing a set with another performer who produces singer/songwriters for an independent label in Nashville. His friend called him up on stage to sing a few. The producer wanted to hear more and scheduled a gig at a local venue with Reid, who hadn’t played publicly since high school, then offered to record him.

“I was very skeptical about it,” said Reid, who had never been to Music City. “I said to myself, ‘What in the world am I doing?’ But then I had an absolute blast in the studio.”

His forthcoming CD will include a dozen originals and a performance of “Wichita Lineman,” a tune Glen Campbell made famous in 1968. Reid finds a different interpretation of what many hear as a lovelorn song.

“I’m very passionate about being a lineman; I’m pretty content,” said Reid. “But for me, he’s a lineman talking about other opportunities, what he wants to do with his life. What if? But he’s still on the line.”

Reid has made the most of his opportunities with BARC.

BARC Electric CEO Bill Buchanan joined Reid and the co-op’s team at the International Lineman’s Rodeo & Expo in Overland, Kansas, last year and takes pride in all their success. The international competition hosts over 200 co-op teams.

“These crews work hard every day to serve our communities, no matter what the conditions are, and these rodeos showcase and celebrate their skills,” Buchanan said. “Will is a top contender and is always willing to lend a hand to help and show concern for community.”

That includes his musical talents. Reid sang the "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the regional rodeo in Doswell, Virginia, and the international event. He also performed the national anthem for the nationally televised PBR Team Series Stampede Days in Nashville.

Reid said being a lineman for a co-op where he serves members at the end of the line helps him connect with his audience no matter where he plays—even in noisy bars where he might only be background music.

“There is always somebody in there who is listening no matter where you play,” he said. “Someone is listening, and that’s who you’re performing for.”

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