TR3 - Watch It

Thursday, March 22, 2007
Telluride Daily Planet The Pulse

Reynolds lives, breathes and makes fine music

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2007 9:42 PM CDT

Show Friday, 10 p.m., SOH

By Katie Klingsporn

Out in the vast and tinkling world of stringed music there reside a few who can be placed in the category of guitar greats. These are the musicians who hold a command so intricate, precise and intimate over the strings that they reach a sort of communion with the long-necked instrument.

Tim Reynolds has earned himself a spot among the contemporary guitar greats. A conversation with the multi-instrumentalists reveals more than a keen interest or love for the guitar. What Reynolds has is a relationship with the instrument, one that is ever-expanding and snaking out in unexpected directions. It seems that he dove into the great sea of music decades ago, and hasn't come up for air yet.

Reynolds will be performing a solo show Friday night at the Sheridan Opera House at 10 p.m. Tickets are $20.

Reynolds has traveled mostly under the pop culture radar throughout his musical career. However, his name is intermittently thrust upon the scene through his collaboration with Dave Matthews. In 1999, the pair released “Live at Luther College,” a double disc album that enjoyed pretty serious popularity. He has made guest appearances on all of the Dave Matthews Band albums, and toured with them extensively.

In fact, Reynolds is fresh off a three-week European tour with DMB that spanned nine countries. With the Telluride show, Reynolds is embarking on a solo tour that will take him through the heartland and up to the northeast and last through July.

This performance will be a stripped-down show bereft of flash or effects. No instruments crowding the stage, no fancy lights, just Reynolds, his guitar and the powerful energy that he churns up between them.

“I'll pretty much be playing acoustic, which is my main focus,” he said. “I got really good at being able to record electric stuff at home and then tour acoustic. I've been actually working and writing a lot with that.”

This focus on acoustic guitar kind of represents coming full circle for Reynolds, who is well known for his dexterity on a host of instruments and his ability to improvise on virtually anything that makes noise. For awhile there, Reynolds sort of left the guitar behind as he explored everything from the violin to the sitar, the bass, piano, mandolin and several percussion instruments.

But now, he said, he's been drawn back into monogamy with the guitar. And what he's realizing is that all the delving into other instruments was actually an avenue for him to build upon the breadth of his guitar knowledge.

“With the other instruments it was really probably ... ultimately expanding the guitar voice,” he said.

Reynolds last released an album, “Parallel Universe,” in 2005. However, new songs have been springing forth, and he said that he probably has enough material for a couple of new albums. But for now, he's more interested in playing than anything else.

“What musicians like to do more than anything is create, and I've just kind of been getting into that groove. I've been in that for awhile,” he said.

The newest thing to catch his fancy is original acoustic blues, he said, and he's been exploring that genre as a way to stretch the boundaries and tap into the soul of the music.

But for tonight, he said, the audience can pretty much expect anything.

“Acoustic guitar can really rock and it can also be really chill,” he said. “That's the beauty of it, it's kind of wide open.”

Reynolds first picked up a bass guitar at the age of 12. As the child of pious and very religious parents, he was limited to playing bass before congregations of holy-rolling Pentacostals, and had to sneak off to the basement to listen to rock and jazz records.

“As soon as I was old enough to run away and play in a band, I did,” he said. He went on to play with experimental bands, and eventually moved to Charlottesville, Va., where he hooked up with Matthews. Along with his solo work and collaboration with Matthews, Reynolds has embarked on a number of side projects. Although he has been offered contracts with major record labels, Reynolds has shrugged them off, unwilling to compromise his artistic vision.

The show will feature an opening performance by Rob Drabkin, a singer/songwriter from Denver with rich, trilling vocals and fingers that make the guitar strings dance.

Telluride Daily Planet The Pulse