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Tim Reynolds (born 15 December 1957 in Wiesbaden, Germany) is a Grammy nominated multi-instrumentalist known as both a solo artist and as a lead guitarist for the Dave Matthews Band. One reviewer has declared Reynolds 'an under-rated master'.
Reynolds plays the guitar, piano, sitar, drums, violin, bass, keyboards, ethnic percussive instruments, solo djembe, harp, uses drum machines for special effects, and sings, although his performances are primarily instrumental rock music. As well as being the founding member of the band TR3, he is one of the musicians who performed at "Miller's", in Charlottesville Virginia, befriending and encouraging the bartender, a young Dave Matthews, to form a band of his own, introducing him to local musicians, several of whom make up the Dave Matthews Band. While Reynolds declined the offer to join as an official member, he recorded and toured as a sideman with the Dave Matthews Band from its inception until late 1998, rejoining them as a permanent member in June 2008. He often tours with Dave Matthews as an acoustic duo, in addition to performing as a member of Dave Matthews & Friends.
Reynolds was born in Wiesbaden, Germany, where his father, a career military man, was stationed. He says he hails from nowhere, because the family moved so often. His family lived many places, including Germany, a farm in Indiana, an army base in Alaska, Kansas, and Missouri, where he lived longer than any other place until he was old enough to move away as an adult. Both parents were extremely devout Christians and he says he grew up with Christian music all around him. However, his older sister owned some albums from The Beatles, which he says, even as a very young child, he loved instantly, playing air guitar to their music.
Upon reaching adolescence, Reynolds was able to learn guitar and electric bass guitar, so he could perform in the family's local Church choir three times a week, with the secret added bonus that he was able to begin experimenting with learning what eventually became second nature; adding riffs infused with rock and roll, funk and soul music by the age of twelve. Upon graduation from high school, he moved away from home, and after moving from the Midwestern States, landed in Charlottesville, Virginia, finding jazz, jazz fusion, and experimental music enthusiasts there. Reynolds found the college town a more welcoming environment for him to branch out musically there than in any of his previous homes, and added to his experimentation other musical influences to his repertoire, including sixties psychedelic rock, citing some of his early influences as Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana and Led Zeppelin.
By the 1990s, he had formed the "Tim Reynolds Three" or TR3, and had added other influences to his repertoire; music from Nine Inch Nails, Bob Marley and Marilyn Manson. In addition, he continued to learn to play other instruments, including the sitar, sarod, the mandello, keytar, tubular bells and other "exotic" instruments that are not commonly seen in Western rock artists of the rock and roll musicians of the time.
Reynolds was performing in Charlottesville in the late 1980s when his old college roommate, Nic Cappon, encouraged him to perform at a local bar, Miller's, where he met bartender Dave Matthews. Reynolds explains:
I played there Miller's in Charlottesville all the time. Dave Matthews was the bartender. I knew the rest of his future band way before that. We played together in Charlottesville since I moved there in 1981. I would play with LeRoi Moore and Carter Beauford. Dave moved to town in 1987. When the Dave Matthews Band started (1991), I already had my own band (TR3). I told him (Dave Matthews), "I've got a band and I kind of like the way it is. You should start your band." I could see that he needed to do his own thing.
In 1993, Reynolds and Dave Matthews started playing a few acoustic duo sets. These featured Matthews music, stripped down to just the acoustic guitar, paired with Reynolds's guitar, and Reynolds' occasional use of slide guitar. During these sets, Reynolds would play between one to four of his own pieces that spanned his own catalog of work. After a few years these shows gained popularity, and in 1996 Matthews and Reynolds embarked on their first full tour together as a duo. In 1999, coinciding with the release of the 40-date tour, Live at Luther College was released.
After a short break, Reynolds toured again with Matthews as a duo in 2003. Reynolds and Matthews then reprised their duo shows as an opening act for the Dave Matthews & Friends tour in 2003 and early 2004. They played several shows together in 2006 and 2007. Reynolds joined Matthews on a mini-tour of Europe in February and March 2007. On 14 August 2007, Matthews and Reynolds released a live CD/DVD set, Live at Radio City, including the songs "Stay or Leave", "Gravedigger", "Cornbread", and "Dancing Nancies," among others. It also includes two of Reynolds' own songs; "You are My Sanity" and "Betrayal". The Radio City show was also released in high definition on Blu-ray Disc.
In 2008, Reynolds once again joined Dave Matthews Band for the recording Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King with producer Rob Cavallo. It was Reynolds's first recording collaboration with Matthews since 2003's Some Devil and his first with the Dave Matthews Band since 1998's Before These Crowded Streets.
Reynolds and Matthews performed together several times in April 2008: in support of Presidential candidate Barack Obama, at the "Seeds of Compassion" show in Seattle, Washington, and at Jack Johnson's Kokua Festival at the Waikiki Shell on the island of Oahu, in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Reynolds toured as lead guitarist with the Dave Matthews Band in support of Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King in early 2008. As of the summer tour of 2013, he is still a full-time member of the Dave Matthews Band.
Reynolds played FarmAid 2015 with Dave.
Dave Matthews and Friends:
Following the release of Dave Matthews first solo album, Some Devil, Matthews brought together many of the albums' collaborators and embarked on a small winter 2003/2004 U.S. tour. The group consisted of Trey Anastasio (of Phish) on guitar, Brady Blade on drums, Tony Hall on bass, Ray Paczkowski on keys, and Reynolds on guitar. Each show opened with a small acoustic Matthews and Reynolds set, and then followed with the full band set with Reynolds performing on electric guitar. Most of Some Devil was played live that tour, along with a wide variety of covers, including, by Reynolds' request, Peter Gabriel's hit "Solsbury Hill".
Dave Matthews & Friends performed occasional shows again in 2004, 2005, and 2006. In 2008, Reynolds joined Dave Matthews Band on their summer North American tour, and scheduled to rejoin them on their Spring 2009 North American tour.
Both Matthews and Reynolds have an open taping policy that additionally extends to TR3, which is available on his website. The pair contend that no two concerts are alike, due in great part to Reynolds' inspired exploration of the melody on stage.
Reynolds and Matthews performed on a 2008 album called Songs for Tibet, an initiative to support Tibet, Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso and to underline the human rights violations allegedlly committed against Tibet by China. On 4 October 2009 Reynolds performed with Matthews in St. Louis, Missouri to support Farm Aid in 2009.
Reynolds has a son Josef, born in February 1982 with his wife, Linna. In 1995, he and girlfriend Diane Thomas had a daughter, Eura. They resided in New Mexico with her son Jostin Bileyu. In 2008, Thomas moved with their children to North Carolina. Tim followed, to be near his daughter Eura. He currently resides in North Carolina, after living for 17 years in Virginia and several years in New Mexico.