Skip to main content

TR3 isn't just a DMB side project for Tim Reynolds

TR3 isn't just a DMB side project for Tim Reynolds


Dave Matthews Band guitarist talks about his original band, which hits Seville Quarter on Tuesday

Written by
Michael Smith
Pensacola News Journal correspondent

October 3, 2013

Sometimes, sneaking out of your parents’ house to catch a rock show can lead to bigger things.

Tim Reynolds, the two-time Grammy nominee and Dave Matthews Band lead guitarist who brings his TR3 trio to Seville Quarter, 130 E. Government St., on Tuesday, knew exactly what he wanted to do with his life after seeing a concert by one of glam rock’s biggest acts.

“My sister snuck me out to go see T-Rex and Three Dog Night in 1973,” Reynolds said. “When (T. Rex frontman) Mark Bolan hit the stage, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. Not necessarily wearing top hats and corkscrew hair — although I’ve done a few weird things like that in the past — but I just knew that that’s what I wanted to do.”

Reynolds started playing guitar and dreaming of becoming a professional musician. But one of his earliest challenges wasn't sneaking out of the house to see music; it was leaving home to play it.

“My dad was really strict, and he wouldn’t let me go out to play music.” Reynolds said. “I wanted to play professionally, but he was not going to let me do it because it was worldly music. It was a fundamentalist church thing.”

Reynolds confided in his music teacher and told him about his desire to leave home and become a professional musician.

Sharing the advice he received, Reynolds imitated his teacher and said, “Well, that’s all well and good, and I encourage you to do that, but first thing you got to do if you’re going to do that is, you got to have a job.”

Reynolds laughed and continued, “If you’re not playing a gig that’s paying you money, but you still want to make and play music, to survive, you got to get a job and then work from there to try to get music happening and make that your job. You have to get a job and make a living and start from there."

Reynolds followed the advice and found jobs while finding his way in music.

“I did a lot of different jobs, janitor working at the civic center, all kinds of things, but ultimately, I just wanted to play music,” he said. “It took awhile.”

Reynolds created TR3 (Tim Reynolds Trio) in the ’80s as an outlet for his funk-rock meets jazz energy. He soon met and developed a friendship with Dave Matthews.

Reynolds and Matthews’ friendship began in Charlottesville, Va. during the late ’80s. Years before he started the Dave Matthews Band, Matthews worked as a bartender at Miller’s, a popular bar where Reynolds and TR3 played regularly.

In 1991, the Dave Matthews Band played their first shows. As the band's popularity grew, Reynolds decided to stay home with his family, focusing on his music, and touring with TR3. Reynolds played occasional DMB gigs and on recordings, such as 1995’s multi-platinum selling album “Under the Table and Dreaming.”

In 1996, Reynolds and Matthews played their first tour as a duo, which resulted in the release of “Live at Luther College: An Acoustic Performance by Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds” in 1999. The album was another platinum-selling success.

In 2008, Reynolds joined the Dave Matthews Band as a permanent member. Still hitting the road as a duo, Matthews and Reynolds will perform two nights in January at the Saenger Theatre in New Orleans.

The current evolution of TR3 features Reynolds (guitar/vocals), Mick Vaughn (bass), and Dan Martier (drums). Reynolds is working on a new TR3 album and in November, he joins the Dave Matthews Band for their tour of South Africa and South America.