TR3 - Watch It

Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Reynolds: A Traveling Man by Nikki Mascali

Reynolds: A Traveling Man

by Nikki M. Mascali
Staff Writer/Designer

There is no road less traveled for Tim Reynolds. Having only wrapped a lengthy summer tour with Dave Matthews Band in Buenos Aires last Friday, the renowned guitarist didn’t opt for downtime. Instead, Reynolds and his band TR3 will kick off a tour of its own that will keep the trio on the road through November. On Wednesday, Oct. 15, TR3 will perform at the River Street Jazz Caf?.

TR3’s first incarnation began in the ’80s in Charlottesville, Va., when Reynolds was gigging regularly at a bar Dave Matthews was tending. After Reynolds turned down an offer to form a band with Matthews since he was happy with TR3, he suggested Matthews strike out on his own. The rest, as they say, is history, and both musicians stayed friends. Quite often, Reynolds has shared stages with both DMB and Matthews on his own.

Earlier this week, Reynolds spoke to the Weekender from North Carolina about his role with DMB, his musical influences, and of course, TR3, which has included bassist Mick Vaughn and drummer Dan Martier since July 2007.

“Those guys are really versatile,” Reynolds said. “We’ll be able to branch out into all kinds of different things as time goes on — we’re just kind of getting started and breaking new ground with the more rock/funk/power trio things.”

Reynolds met Vaughn and Martier when he moved from Arizona to North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Both men had been playing the local circuit, so the three began performing regularly together.

“The idea wasn’t necessarily to resurrect TR3 per se, but just to start playing with humans in a band,” Reynolds explained. “It just seemed [TR3] was the easiest name to use that would be kind of recognizable, even though it was different personnel.”

The transition from his summer gig with DMB to TR3 won’t be hard for Reynolds.

“It’s different, so it’s more of a normal reality for me,” he said.

When asked if he could now be considered a full-fledged member of DMB, Reynolds’ reply was simple.

“Something like that,” he said with a laugh.

DMB was struck a heavy blow in August when saxophonist and founding member LeRoi Moore died from sudden complications stemming from a June ATV accident.

“Everybody was very sad,” Reynolds said. “He was a great friend with a great personality, and in the last year, he’d gotten really healthy and was doing great, which made it even more sad.”

Jeff Coffin of Bela Fleck & the Flecktones had signed on for the summer while Moore was recovering.

“[Jeff] was kind of like — what’s the word I want to use? — the shiny side of the whole thing,” Reynolds said. “He stepped in with a day’s notice and played, and from then on, it just got better and better.”

Whether playing solo or with a band, Reynolds’ writing process doesn’t change.

“When with a band, you’ve got to think about all the parts in detail, especially the drums and the bass,” he said. “Playing a solo acoustic guitar, you kind of work out all the little parts.

“The writing of the actual music comes from all different kinds of experiences. Up until the tour this summer, which was a big blur, I’d been writing something every day, even if it’s just a little idea.”

Reynolds grew up as a nomadic “Army brat” inspired by Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, early Genesis — pretty much everything out of the late ’60s/early ’70s.

“This band called Aphrodite’s Child, in particular, had a record called ‘666’ that was their ultimate thing, but I realize now it’s just a great work of art on par with The Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper,’” he said. “All that stuff that was around then was kind of a golden era for anyone growing up then.”

Reynolds also cites a few bands that might not fall into a normal classic rock category, but are veteran bands nonetheless: Nine Inch Nails, Deftones and Meshuggah.

“They’ve been around long enough to know that that’s classic, and it’s not going to go away, period,” he said. “Anybody who likes rock ‘n’ roll that isn’t stuck to one period will recognize that.”

Currently, Reynolds is into a few CDs he picked up in Brazil.

“Amazing samba jazz-like music,” said the guitarist, who played a lot of jazz in the ’80s and ’90s. “This music reinvigorates my interest in, at least, the samba jazz coming from down there because it’s just so happening.”

Unlike many musicians, TR3 has an open-door policy for taping shows.

“You just have to let go of it and let people listen to your mistakes … music is different every day,” Reynolds said, though he’s not a fan of bootlegs himself. “I tend to prefer when the artist makes a record and they’re able to finesse it a bit. A lot of the great bootlegs I’ve heard have been made into better-produced CDs that are more like something you want to put on a stereo that sounds really big and great.”

After his crazy summer, what could possibly be next for Reynolds?

“I have a record that TR3 recorded that will hopefully come out at the beginning of the year,” he replied. “I’m really excited about that — it’s mastered and sounds really nice. It’s got that classic sound, it’s really fat and played in this really nice studio.”

And, naturally, another tour will follow.