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Thursday, November 8, 2001
Beyond Face Value(Athens Banner-Herald)

Beyond face value
Tim Reynolds makes music for things that can't be put into words

By T. Christian Hampton
Correspondent

Guitarist Tim Reynolds is probably best known for his association with Dave Matthews. The two friends have recorded and toured together in the past few years -- something Reynolds says has given him enough of a glimpse of huge commercial success to know not to aspire to it. He performs Tuesday, Nov. 13 at the Georgia Theatre.

"It doesn't take much for me to go into rant mode these days," says Tim Reynolds upon offering an unnecessary apology at the end of the interview, which he's given by phone from his tour bus in Wisconsin.

The conversation has consisted primarily of Reynolds sharing his opinions on most everything around him: national events, music, culture -- verbose outbursts that aren't rants in an angry sense, just evidence of a restless mind that would not be content existing in this world without trying to challenge and change it.

Currently residing in New Mexico, the guitarist is probably best known for his association with Dave Matthews. The two friends have recorded and toured together in the past few years, giving Reynolds enough of a glimpse of huge commercial success to know not to aspire to it.

"It's good to see what it's like, but knowing myself that's not where I need to go," he says.

Inside the cover of his latest CD, "Nomadic Wavelength" (TR Music), he offers to his fans a list of "recommended websites for enacting social change." Reynolds says he decided to do this to let "people know where they can go to get ... information that might help them see beyond the face values of things we are usually presented with, which isn't really as much information as we could use to make better judgments about things like foreign policy and world events."

"These problems that are happening now are problems that go back for centuries between Christians and Moslems ... it's a deep thing and nobody can look at themselves and see (it) ... Our country is like the teen-ager that has no tendency for self-reflection ... That knowledge is also prevalent; everybody knows it, but nobody wants to take it to the next level and deal with it ... It's a simple thing, but society has become complex, and it's going to take a lot of time to de-complex it and get back to people understanding people individually."

His active mind is evident in his music, too. His songs are instrumental, mainly based around acoustic guitar, but even without lyrics his need to question and be involved with his surroundings comes through.

Titles like "Entity," "Stranger in a Strained Land," "Analyze" and "Repeat the Question" reflect his individualistic nature. Reynolds translates his passions so purely into his music that listening to this album with one's eyes closed can invoke an emotional journey of self-reflection and frustration.

"(Music is) one of those things that comes from nowhere and then goes nowhere, in a way. It's kind of mysterious, you know, and that's the beauty of it ... You can describe it, but when it's happening the description doesn't mean anything. ... For me, music is my understanding of all those things that can't be put into words."