Tim Reynolds might be best-known as the one who offered Dave Matthews his first words of musical encouragement. Matthews, born in South Africa, and Reynolds, born in Germany, would have their confluence in Virginia. The two are separated by a decade in age, with Tim the elder, and though it was the student who'd go on to more mainstream appeal, the student has not surpassed the master. It is Reynolds who has quietly forged along, becoming a powerhouse in the instrumental-rock genre.
As a member of Matthews' band for a brief stint in the late '90s and of complete permanence since 2008, his gravitas lends real credence to this outfit beyond the dorm-room troubadours who generally praise the band's accomplishments.
The Tim Reynolds Trio, or TR3, has been his controlled experiment on musical improvisation since 1984. A multi-instrumentalist (guitars, piano, banjo, violin, harp, and numerous types of percussive elements), he is known and praised for performances that are improvisational ventures and for the fact that Reynolds allows -- hell, even encourages -- the audience to bootleg his gigs and engage in a tape-trading akin to the Grateful Dead's Deadhead network.
The current incarnation of the TR3 is rounded out by the rhythm section of drummer Dan Martier and bassist Mick Vaughn. The group prides itself on genre-bending, and any of its gigs can run the gamut of styles from funk, blues, prog, and psych to jazz fusion, with nuances and touches of classic rock and metal. Aside from an arsenal developed in a catalog of six or seven official releases (the early ones are out of print and again are encouraged for dissemination through trading), they're also admired for spicing up covers of songs by artists like Bob Marley, Marilyn Manson, and Led Zeppelin.
On his latest release with the trio, Like Some Kind of Alien Invasion, Reynolds explains, "It's more sonically expansive and has more harmonic content than our previous work. We used more acoustic guitars and varieties of guitar tones and really focused on making this a chord-rich effort." Fans of the Dave Matthews Band will clearly enjoy his work due to association, while new listeners, who might be discouraged by thinking of this as a "jam band," might want to reconsider, as Reynolds is one of the most versatile players today and offers a unique experience to his audiences every night.
That's the aural equivalent of a small-batch, limited-release craft beer.
TR3 with the Randy Bernsen Trio at 8 p.m. Thursday, October 16, at the Funky Biscuit, 303 SE Mizner Blvd., Boca Raton. Advance tickets cost $25 to $40. Call 561-395-2929, or visit funkybiscuit.com.