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Wednesday, October 10, 2001
"The Talented Mr. Reynolds"

The Talented Mr. Reynolds

by Paul Olund
The Western Front
Western Washington University
originally published: 10/10/01 at 9:00 PM PST

"I like to surprise people," said 43-year-old guitarist Tim Reynolds as he hurled a ball of tape as big as a baseball across the Performing Arts Center stage at one of his crew after a concert Wednesday night. Tour manager Fluffy Centner, who goes by Fluffy, laughed as he waited to pack the tour van full of Reynolds' equipment and get on the road to their next stop.

"I wasn't sure what to expect when I took the job," Fluffy said. "I had never heard of him, and he surprised me with his music."

Reynolds, best known for his work with The Dave Matthews Band, is touring to promote his eighth solo release, "Nomadic Wavelength."

"The new album has many different modes," Reynolds said. "The music is much more complex in its form. so it allows me to experiment and improvise."

Reynolds said he has never played the same song twice.

"I rename the songs each night so I don't feel compelled to play them the same way," he said.

"I can never figure out which song is which because the names keep changing," Fluffy joked.

Reynolds said he thinks about as little as possible on stage.

"The music is unconscious and second nature," he said. "It's natural to experiment and to do different things with the music. It's what I've always done."

Four guitars, a mixing board and a collection of different pedals and samplers were among the instruments used to create Reynolds' unique blend of jazz, rock and electronica.

"I found out that I don't need a band to play," Reynolds said. "I can create all the background samples and effects by myself."

Reynolds said he enjoys time on his electric guitar the most.

"My next tour is just gonna be me, my electric and a few samples," he said. "And us," reminded a stagehand walking by.

Reynolds began playing the guitar for Pentecostal churchgoers at age 12. At age 18, he moved to Charlottesville, Va. to join a band of experimental musicians. In the late 1980s, Reynolds met up with local bartender Dave Matthews. The duo began collaborating in 1993 with "Remember Two Things" and most recently in 1999 with "Live at Luther College."

"I was lucky," Reynolds said of his career. "If I wasn't playing shows professionally, I would probably be sitting in my room practicing."

Reynolds said he enjoys his time with The Dave Matthews Band, but will continue to focus on his solo career.

"It was a great time in my life," he said. "But either you have a band or a family. I have a family now."

When asked about his plans for the future, Reynolds said, "I'll keep playing the guitar."