Vail music: Dave Matthews Band member not just a sidekick |

Vail music: Dave Matthews Band member not just a sidekick

Caramie Schnell
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail Daily/ Jacqui LainGuitar maestro Tim Reynolds and his rock trio TR3 will perform at Vail's Sandbar Thursday night. Tickets are $12.

VAIL, Colorado – Tim Reynolds, whose bringing his band to Vail, has a secret.

He’s much more than Dave Matthew’s sidekick. In fact, the guitar wizard is really more of a frontman himself – at least that’s how he started off in the ’80s with the numerous electric trios he led. Though he spends much of the year practicing and touring with the Dave Matthews Band, he recently revived his trio, called TR3, which includes bass player Mick Vaughn and drummer Dan Martier.

“Doing the sideman gig, that kind of came later,” Reynolds said during a recent phone interview. “I started as the frontman, and it’s more of an expression to be a frontman. I’ve always been compelled to write music. As much as I like to play the guitar, to me the real deal is writing music.”

Crawford Byers of Rocky Mountain Entertainment has seen Tim Reynolds perform before, and is “excited to get him to Vail,” he said.

“He’s a phenomenal guitarist,” Byers said. “While he has never gotten the individual acclaim he might deserve, his partnerships with Dave Matthews and the DMB have helped people become familiar.”

The trio performs at the Sandbar Thursday night at 10 p.m. Tickets are $12.

Reynolds formed the trio in 2007, shortly after moving to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, which is where he discovered Vaughn and Martier.

“There’s so many musicians here,” Reynolds said. “I asked around about who was good in town, and got hooked up with Dan and Mick. … Immediately I was like ‘this is going to work.’ We had a lot of fun, and really that’s the bottom line. We have fun together.”

Even though the most recent incarnation of TR3 shares the same name as the trio from the ’80s, their sound is very different. The old TR3 had a jazz-funk-fusion feel, whereas this trio has more of a rock feel to it, Reynolds said.

And of course TR3 gigs are a far cry from the craziness that envelopes the Dave Matthews Band tour, which is just how Reynolds likes it.

“It’s not nearly as big of a production. It’s more of a down-to-earth, grassroots thing. That’s how I’ve rolled for many years,” he said. “I like smaller venues. It’s more of an intimate setting – the fans are right there – and you kind of have to come up to that energy. It challenges you to really rock out.”

Though Reynolds is well known for his guitar wrangling, he got his start playing bass in a gospel band as a kid. His parents bought him the bass, but had one rule: They didn’t allow him to play anywhere but church.

“I always kind of rebelled against it. I was sneaking out and playing with my friends,” Reynolds said. “The dream was always to be a rock and roll guitarist. That was kind of the golden era (of rock and roll), when it was a fresh thing.”

Thursday night’s show is a mix of updated Tim Reynolds classics, along with wild covers of everything from James Brown to Prince to TR3’s newest catalogue of material. The trio’s newest CD, “Radiance,” will be available.

High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 or

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