TR3 - Watch It

Friday, September 29, 2000

Enter Tim Reynolds Dave Matthews' Side-kick comes to HC Courtesy of:

By Alicia Starkey Crusader Features Editor

Ask who Tim Reynolds is and the majority of students will give you one of two answers. Most people, be it the biggest Phish fan or the guy who assaults his roommate with a Wu-Tang only play-list, can tell you that Tim Reynolds plays with Dave Matthews. Others may mention that Reynolds is playing in the Hogan Ballroom tomorrow night. And while both answers are correct, each leaves room for desire. Yes, Reynolds' skill is undeniable. His success with Dave Matthews is unbeatable. But aside from the Dave duo, who is Tim Reynolds?

In a story of widespread popularity by association, Reynolds has become a household name through his work with Matthews and Dave Matthews Band. But sadly, even in this time of prime popularity, the average listener knows little of Reynolds' other work. It is this independent artist that many students are wondering about as tomorrow's concert looms in the near future.

Before discussing Reynolds' solo work or his involvement with TR3 (Tim Reynolds Three, now Puke Matrix), let's take a peek at the history of the artist already known: the Reynolds associated with Matthews, who last year released a joint album titled Live at Luther College.

Reynolds and Matthews met in the Charlottesville band scene while Matthews was bartending and Reynolds performing. There, says Reynolds in an interview with The Coloradoan, "I got to know him pretty well... We used to hang around in his basement, playing some crazy industrial stuff." Reynolds and Matthews began performing together in the early nineties playing at UVA's Prism Coffee House, among others. The duo also played a small venue tour in the winters of 1996 and 1997. The 1996 tour resulted in the Live at Luther College album - a 23 song CD that debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 chart when it was released in 1999.

While both men have fond memories of their early partnership, as time went on, it became obvious that they were going in different directions. Matthews swayed towards the lighter music that graces many CD collections today, Reynolds towards the hard rock scene, as seen in his work with Houston Ross and Johnny Gilmore of TR3. "[Ross and Gilmore] play really intensely and that makes me do it too. It's a little heavier than people might expect. It's not jazzy at all. It's much more rock or industrial. It's guitar, like Band of Gypsies- era Hendrix/ Nine Inch Nails/ power trio wannabee."

Despite their split, the friendship and admiration shared between Matthews and Reynolds has never been put in jeopardy. Matthews consistently calls Reynolds an inspiration and on more than one occasion has referred to him as his "guitar hero." Reynolds has appeared on seven Dave Matthews Band albums and recently joined Matthews on an unplugged tour of smaller theaters and schools to promote Live at Luther College.

On Live at Luther College, it is easy to see the impact that Reynolds can have on Dave Matthews Band material. The duo took several songs made familiar by Under the Table and Dreaming and transformed them, eliminating the sax and violin of Dave Matthews Band and substituting in the naked guitar of Reynolds. The result, as record sales have show, was lauded by fans and praised by reviewers. Even those who miss the wonders of Carter Buford and LeRoi Moore have appreciated the ability of Reynolds to infuse familiar songs with a new and spectacular vitality, stripping them of frills and then building them back up again with pure acoustic guitar wizardry.

So, as interested concert-goers pile into the Ballroom tomorrow night, what can be expected?

As a stop on Reynolds' fall tour promoting his newest solo album, See Into Your Soul, much of tomorrow's performance should echo the new release. In an interview with Las Vegas Weekly Reynolds said, "Half of the record is solo acoustic guitar recorded with no effects... I started out playing base, and doing that thumb kind of slapping thing, and also played drums, so all those things come together to form what I do on guitar. The other half is a little harder to describe. It's acoustic guitar but it's also acoustic guitar through effects, so it doesn't sound like acoustic guitar. It has more of a band vibe. I like to rock out even though I play acoustic guitar and play solo gigs."

Still in limbo? How about some advice from the man who should know: Dave himself. "Timmy... is a whirlwind. His stuff can bring me to tears. And I can't think of any time where, night after night, he repeats himself. What he's got is a gift."