TR3 - Watch It

Thursday, August 5, 2010
TR Takes Center Stage w/TR3

Tim Reynolds Takes Center Stage With TR3

Corey Martignetti and Mike Rothman share a first-hand look at a night in the life of legendary guitarist Tim Reynolds and his band TR3 as they rock at Roxy’s Pub in West Palm and then backstage after the show

Thursday, August 5th, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Mike Rothman

In an age of sensationalism and overhype, a word like 'virtuoso' gets thrown around whimsically and loses its luster. In its purest sense, a virtuoso is somebody of uncommon ability who possesses a true mastery of his or her craft. If there was ever a guitarist worthy of this title, it's Tim Reynolds. Technically brilliant yet emotionally honest, Reynolds’ music is inspired and authentic. From beautiful ballads to shredding solos, his versatility has something to offer an eclectic fan base. While Reynolds gained popularity and acclaim from his guitar accompaniment with Dave Matthews, a true appreciation of his musical accomplishment requires a deeper exploration of his entire repertoire.

Midway through a worldwide tour with The Dave Matthews Band, Corey Martignetti and Mike Rothman caught up with Tim Reynolds and his band TR3 backstage at Roxy’s Pub in West Palm Beach. How appropriate that our first glimpse of Tim was him rushing back to the venue with a Starbucks coffee in each hand. Spending the concert stage-side, mingling with various members of Reynolds’ entourage, it quickly became clear that this is more like a family than a crew of technicians, merchandisers and musical collaborators.

For those who have never been to a TR3 show, the experience is impossible to evince via pen and pad. The setting is dark, smokey, intimate and LOUD. Tim dons scrubby attire and pink-rimmed 80's era plastic sunglasses and the band immediately breaks into a Neil Young cover, "Ohio". Suddenly, the same person who delivers some of the most accomplished acoustic guitar work is owning center stage shredding electric riffs and belting out raspy vocals.

One thing quickly becomes apparent: Reynolds is more than capable of being the frontman. Charismatic and quirky, he connects with the audience, and bandmates Mick Vaughn (bass) and Dan Martier (drums). As the show reaches it's climax, an encore rendition of James Brown's "Sex Machine" complete with fans dancing on stage in furry costumes like Tigger and Elmo donning flashing gas masks while Tim tosses Twix bars into the crowd, we get ready to follow the band backstage.

It's 2 a.m. and the mood backstage is whimsical and relaxed. Miscellaneous banter and pleasantries out of the way, the obvious first question for Tim is where he finds the energy for simultaneous DMB and TR3 tours while releasing a new solo acoustic double CD "The Limbic System". He breaks out into a hilariously exaggerated demonstration of Yoga poses in the middle of the floor.

Mick jokes that the band “hasn’t played together since high school,” referring to the last gig TR3 had a few months back actually at a high school on the Outer Banks in NC. “There was a hall monitor and we were very good. Not the performance, but we were well behaved,” Vaughn says sarcastically. Turns out it was a favor to a friend in the PTA who said the high school was deprived of the arts, further displaying Reynolds’ devotion to spreading music to the masses.

After some more light banter, Vaughn and Martier enlighten us further on numerous collaborations they have been doing back home in the Outer Banks with groups like Tall Dogs, Ragin’ Cajuns and The Walker Brothers while Reynolds was busy touring with DMB this Summer. As for why the band chose to come back to Roxy’s for the second consecutive year? “It’s closest to the venue DMB plays at [Cruzan Amphitheatre],” Martier jokes.

There have been various incarnations of TR3 since Reynolds started the power trio in 1984. The origin behind this one is simple, according to Martier.

“Tim moved to the Outer Banks, his wife at the time said ‘I think you guys should play with Tim.’ We ended up going to Tim’s house, sitting down and saying let’s book a gig and try this trio thing out.”

Lucky for the packed masses in attendance, “this trio thing” has blown up. It didn’t hurt that prior to the trio’s formation, Dan and Mick had been playing together off and on for 14 years. Martier says that experience helped the band go into “automatic pilot.” Attempting to classify their musical style, Mick calls it “jazz, metal and anything in between.”

Despite Tim’s attempt at levity that the band “channels the cosmos” when writing originals for TR3, he eventually offers that,
“Every day is a little different. In a power trio it’s easy [to write music] because you can come up with a lick and just work with that as a group,” Reynolds said. “Some songs are almost progressive rock and then some songs are like world beat music. It’s open.”

With all that Reynolds has juggling in 2010-2011, he still has time to plan a live album for TR3.

“Yeah we recorded some shows at the end of last year. We are collecting stuff from that to put out early next year. It is kind of like what you saw [tonight]. Raging balls on stage. Whatever part of the body you want to say.”

Corey Martignetti contributed greatly to the formation of this interview.