TIM REYNOLDS PLAYS AT WARP SPEED!
Out of This World Guitarist Promotes Parallel Universe
A SoundPress.net Archive Article by Rich and Laura Lynch

"The aliens from another dimension love you," remarked guitar master Tim Reynolds returning to the stage at Mexicali Blues for his two-song encore on March 3, 2006. Reynolds's fans clearly returned the affection to the player who took his experimental guitar work to other worldly heights throughout the evening as the bulk of the near capacity crowd remained transfixed for the two-hour performance.

Reynolds was on hand in support of his latest CD, the 2005 independent release on his TR label, Parallel Universe. The double disc space-themed project is a critically acclaimed mostly electric guitar project that Tim has been promoting on the road with two acoustic guitars (a Martin 6-string and 12-string) and a compact effects board to which he returned to many times during the evening.


Tim Reynolds Transported Fans to a Parallel Universe from the Stage in New Jersey!

Tim Reynolds was born in Weisbaden, Germany. As a child of a devoutly religious military man, Reynolds spent much of his childhood living the nomadic military lifestyle, moving from state to state, residing in much of the Bible-belt before settling in Charlottesville, Virginia for 17 years. It was in Virginia that Tim Reynolds made the acquaintance of the South African singer-songwriter, Dave Matthews.

In 1993, Reynolds and Matthews began performing locally in Virginia forming a recording and touring partnership that continues to the present day. Matthews went on to become arguably the most important performer of his generation during the decade and Reynolds rose to national prominence when the duo released Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds: Live at Luther College in 1999. The CD introduced Reynolds's complex and intricate playing to Matthew's global fan base and Reynolds's continued his association with the DMB appearing at Bonaroo and on the Dave Matthews and Friends tour along with Trey Anastasio, formerly of Phish.

To his credit, Reynolds had been building an impressive catalogue of recordings prior to the Luther College release appearing on more than a dozen recordings under his own name or his band configurations including TR3 and the rocking power trio, Puke Matrix. Throughout, Reynolds's solo work has always contained spacey, otherworldly tones characterized by his creative and experimental approach to the guitar.

At other times, Reynolds's has been the multi-instrumentalist playing all the instruments on some of his records. Depending on the CD you spin Reynolds' style runs the gamut from acoustic to electric, instrumental to vocal, with his more rocking offerings being compared to a cross between Nine Inch Nails and Jimi Hendrix.

It was from this eclectic soup of experience that Reynolds was able to draw from for his Mexicali Blues Cafe concert. Although the new record is mostly an electric/electronic affair Reynolds has chosen to relearn the new songs on acoustic guitar, choosing to leave the drum machines and rhythm section at home.

"I like to air my songs in a different context," Reynolds remarked in recent interview explaining the decision to support an electric album with an acoustic show. "I like the challenge. I've been working with the drum machine and guitar for a while now. I get bored and go to the next thing."

There was nothing boring about Reynolds' acoustic presentation on Friday night. He set the tone for the evening with a show-opening guitar exploration with his delay pedal that alerted the uninitiated that this wasn't going to be an ordinary acoustic performance by the lone singer-songwriter.

At several points during the show Reynolds's playing moved into hyperspace displaying near incomprehensible speed while combining chunky chords and blistering runs up and down the neck of the guitar and beyond. Lyrically, Reynolds's own compositions are structured more like short poems or statements that serve as a framework for his complex and innovative playing exemplified by the song "Indoctrinate" from the new record.

"This is the biggest propaganda machine
In the history of the world...
Keep the simple occupied with emotional control
We're governed by asses
(Write that down!)
The media is a weapon of mass destruction
Intoxicate, indoctrinate
"

Reynolds chanted these words over and over for several verses before launching into a fast forward freak out on guitar that was hard to comprehend. It was the first intoxicating moment in a night that would see many more including many instrumental forays enhanced by slide techniques and his proficient use of a bevy of effects, delays and foot pedal work.

In addition to Reynolds's own compositions he treated the crowd to his own unique take on several cover songs including "I Want You", "Hold On, I'm Comin'", "When the Levee Breaks" and the show closer "Jeepster" – each containing musical explorations that boldly went where the original versions never went before.

Throughout the evening Reynolds was a virtual one man band and sound effects guys at times conjuring evocative sirens, drum effects, space sounds and middle eastern tones with his guitar, slide and pedal board. To close the show, Tim introduced each member of the "band" by playing the role of different players such as "Freak" the bass player guy and "space" the sound master. This was a humorous nod to the fact that Reynolds was working overtime to entertain the fans on hand.

This was the first time we were disappointed with the usually knowledgeable and attentive Mexicali Blues audience. There was a constant and distracting din coming from a handful of talkative bar patrons throughout Reynolds's performance. Sure, it was a Friday night and at times a quiet acoustic performance, but that doesn't excuse a few loud patrons to detract from the majority's entertainment. Hopefully Tim will encounter less rude specimens of our race during his future excursions to parallel universes at upcoming shows on his current solo tour that is set to run through June. Otherwise, the aliens might become a little less loving.

Related Links: For more information on Tim Reynolds and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links -- TimReynolds.com | MexicaliLive.com

(Originally Published on March 06, 2006)

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