TR3 - The Left Hand of Darkness
TR3 - On This Mountain Born in Clouds

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

By Dave Richards

Before you go, get this clear from the get-go. When Tim Reynolds performs Tuesday at 8 p.m. at Edinboro University, you won't hear Dave Matthews' songs.

Sure, Reynolds appears on six Dave Matthews Band albums. He does tours with Matthews, including one that played a sold-out Warner Theatre in January 1997.

Reynolds also logs substantial playing time on "Some Devil," Matthews' first solo CD, which will be released Tuesday.

Truth is, Reynolds could have joined Dave Matthews Band a long time ago. But that role would be too limiting for this adventurous free spirit.

"Since the mid-'80s, I've been writing music and playing and having bands and doing my own thing," Reynolds said. "But I didn't necessarily do it to become a star at it. Sometimes people try to do that, and it becomes a side effect of what they do. I try to avoid pitfalls like that."

Reynolds writes to express himself, not to please anyone else. So, he's gloriously, unrepentantly eclectic. Inspired as much by world music and jazz as classic rock, he doesn't settle for one genre.

He's churned out intricate acoustic music ("Nomadic Wavelength"), noisy industrial rock ("Chaos View"), trippy fare ("Gossip of the Neurons") and explosive funk ("Astral Projection"). To hear him is to understand how he can like such disparate artists as Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Carlos Santana, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and Django Reinhardt.

Much of his work is instrumental, yet Reynolds has plenty to say. He's a pacifist who believes men will learn to stop controlling each other, work in harmony, and give up materialism.

"We think we're like the center of the universe, and it's the opposite," he said. "We're just beginning to know the universe; it knows more than us. We've got to reverse the paradigm of our thinking. The rules we've got now are stuck in medieval times."

In Edinboro, Reynolds will have no rules. He'll do acoustic, play electric, show short films and generally freak out. He's also gearing up for — gasp — another tour with Matthews. Reynolds said he'll likely tour with Matthews and Trey Anastasio (who's also on "Some Devil") later in 2003. He's excited about Matthews' new CD.

"It's interesting to hear Dave without the sax and violins. I enjoyed it. The songs were great; some of his best ones are on there. And the sparseness of the production is pretty cool."

"Some Devil" will sell like the devil. Reynolds' never will and though he's a brilliant guitarist, he gets little recognition. Rolling Stone didn't include him in its list of 100 greatest guitarists. No problem.

"You have to kind of work to get popular in certain ways," he said. "I kind of work to stay out of that."

DAVE RICHARDS can be reached at 870-1703 or by e-mail at