Tim Reynolds' big year with the Dave Matthews Band and beyond
BOULDER, Colo. — Tim Reynolds is going to have his hands full juggling his career this year -- and it's a task most musicians would die for.
The master guitarist is out promoting his band TR3 and its new CD, Radiance.
But wait, it gets better -- Reynolds, a longtime associate and on-stage partner of Dave Matthews, was just hired by the Dave Matthews Band to serve as a featured guitarist for the multi-platinum group.
Reynolds took time off from working on DMB's upcoming album in New Orleans to talk to the Colorado Daily.
"It's been pretty nice in New Orleans," Reynolds said. "It's just great that I have the opportunity to wake up every day and get inspired by new music that comes my way.
"It just makes me want to keep trying harder as a musician. That's why I created my band TR3. It's a way to try out new musical ideas."
Reynolds is known for re-inventing and re-tooling his styles of music, perfecting new ways to play the guitar -- and even coming up with some interesting stage outfits.
The musician created TR3 as the perfect creative vehicle for his music. He started the band as a teen and eventually landed in Charlottesville, Va. -- home of the Dave Matthews Band.
"TR3 has always been an experimental band," Reynolds said. "We're not a traditional band and we're more focused on the power trio format.
"Over the last several years, the band's been doing more modern heavy metal, but this new TR3 sound is more organic."
In the past, Reynolds has used TR3 as a way to explore prog rock, fusion guitar, funk and straight-up rock sounds.
However, a move to North Carolina inspired Reynolds to change TR3's musical direction.
Reynolds had been living in New Mexico, but he decided to move his family to rural North Carolina.
"I played a gig three or four years ago in North Carolina and it seemed like a nice place for my family," Reynolds said. "That's where I met the musicians who are now in TR3."
The rootsy North Carolina atmosphere inspired Reynolds to change up TR3's music.
"I tried to cover a lot of things in TR3's past phases," Reynolds said. "This is now a fresh band.
"We're really trying to seek out the soul of the music. This is a power trio that's all about blues, soul and rock music. We want our songs to capture a moment and a vibe. That's what the new record is about."
Reynolds and TR3 just put the finishing touches on Radiance and Boulder fans will get a sneak peak of the new tunes Wednesday.
However, TR3 isn't Reynolds' only gig.
Reynolds and Matthews are now joining forces after having built a long musical history together.
In 1996, Reynolds joined Matthews on a widely publicized acoustic tour. The musicians even booked a date at the University of Colorado's Macky Auditorium -- and the show sold out in record time.
In 1999, the duo released the chart-topping Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds: Live at Luther College. Reynolds has also played on DMB's Remember Two Things, Under the Table and Dreaming and Crash.
"The Dave Matthews Band and I go back a long way," Reynolds said. "I've sat in on a lot of their gigs and did a bit of touring with them in '98.
"I was more focused on TR3 then, and developing my solo-acoustic mode. I'd been asked to join the band before, but I was trying to stay indie for so many years. Definitely, the idea of my joining the band was floating around."
This month, Reynolds announced that he would be working on the new DMB album and joining the band for its spring and summer tours.
"I got a call that the band was working on the new CD," Reynolds said. "It was an organic trajectory to where we are now.
"In a way, I did bring my sound to the band's first three records. I contributed and played on the first three RCA records, so I do have a familiarity with that sound."
However, Reynolds says there will be some surprises on this DMB record -- including award-winning Green Day producer Rob Cavallo.
"This new record will be familiar sounding, but there will be some new twists," Reynolds said. "We have a new sax player and Rashawn Ross will be playing trumpet.
"I think we'll bring a fresh burst of sound to the band. We have Rob Cavallo producing us -- he had a big hit with Green Day (American Idiot). He's really pushing the DMB and it's already very interesting."
Reynolds says he's ready to ride out 2009 with the Dave Matthews Band. The musician will be taking TR3 along on the road to play smaller clubs during the DMB tour.
"I'm definitely down for the summer and the rest of the year. It's hard to plan for the future," Reynolds said. "I'm just going to plan for all contingencies.
"I will be playing TR3 side gigs, plus some late-night shows -- and hopefully, open a few dates on the DMB tour. It will be a lot of fun.
"What more could you ask as a musician?"