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Grammy nominated guitarist to play at Massry Center

March 28, 2011

by Mike Carroll

Grammy nominated guitarist Tim Reynolds will perform Wednesday the Massry Center (Courtesy- Lisa Farber)

He has played in sold out stadiums, been nominated for a Grammy, and on Wednesday, Tim Reynolds brings his unique talent to the Pine Hills.  Best known for playing with the Dave Matthews Band, Reynolds will perform a solo concert to a sold out crowd at the Massry Center for the Arts.

Reynolds reached worldwide notoriety with his blistering guitar solos as the lead guitarist for the Dave Matthews Band.  He has also toured numerous times with Dave Matthews as an acoustic duo, resulting in several concert recordings, one of which led to a Grammy nomination for best rock instrumental performance.  Reynolds is also the lead guitarist and vocalist for his band TR3.  By following multiple musical paths, Reynolds has become more than just a guitar player, he has been described as a sonic innovator and his skill in its rawest form will be on display at this rare and intimate solo acoustic performance.

“It’s not often you get to see a musician like Tim Reynolds in a small setting like this,” said Saratoga Springs resident Brad Casacci, who will attend Wednesday. “It will be a unique experience to see a concert with just one performer with just his guitar.”  Casacci has seen the Dave Matthews Band live 54 times and also attended one Dave and Tim acoustic show. This will be his first chance to see Reynolds play solo.

A performance at a venue like the Massry Center will give fans a chance to observe Reynolds’ ability up close. “Tim Reynolds is an innovator on the guitar. If a person wanted to be entertained by the sheer ability of an artist’s mastery of his or her craft, then this would be a concert to attend,” said Sal Prizio, programming manager at the Massry Center.

Reynolds on stage with the Dave Matthews Band at Citi Field July 16, 2010 (Mike Carroll)

It is this skill that gives Reynolds such an appeal to both fans of the Dave Matthews Band and music fans in general.  “After seeing Tim play live at various Dave Matthews Band shows, showcasing his incredible talent, I knew I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to see him play a solo show,” said Mackenzie Baler from Slingerlands, who has a ticket.

Reynolds’ masterful playing ability is one reason Casacci is excited to see him play locally.  “Tim Reynolds is a very talented guitarist. He might not have the well known name like Eric Clapton or John Mayer when it comes to playing guitar, but he’s in the same realm of talent,” said Casacci.

Music fans can expect to see Reynolds showcase his improvisational ability.  “While this show is instrumental, he does such amazing things with the guitar and his effects that it will entertain them for the duration. Tim Reynolds really gets to stretch his wings in a performance like this and fans of Dave Matthews Band will see why Dave has him in his band,” said Prizio.

It is this special talent that has fans excited to see Reynolds play solo.  “The way Tim utilizes his guitar and his pedals is like none other. He creates symphonies with his instrument, constructing a story through his music and his passion,” said Baler.

One fan is making a 94-mile trek from Utica to the Albany concert. “Tim has this way of grabbing you with his guitar

Reynolds’ latest solo album titled The Limbic System (Courtesy- Lisa Farber)

playing and taking you on an amazing ride with his unique sound,” said Christopher Mangione. “If you have never seen him before, you must.”  Mangione has seen Reynolds play with the Dave Matthews Band 15 times, but this will be his first time seeing Reynolds play solo.

In an industry dominated by ‘pop’ acts, Reynolds represents a more classic approach to music.  “He is not making music that sells millions of records. He makes music that is honest to him and speaks to his audience,” said Prizio.

“If you have ever heard the man speak, he is full of love and joy for music and it really comes out in his playing. Tim doesn’t worry about meeting a standard that is set by someone else, he creates the standard that others want to match,” said Mangione.

Part of Reynolds’ approach to music is an open taping policy, where the audience is allowed and encouraged to record live performances and fairly trade them among fans.  “I think it is great for an artist to allow taping of their shows, it really allows for the music to be spread. It is a great way to interact with your fans and a fantastic way to spread music.  Now with everyone having high speed internet access, any band, big or small, could spread their music to an endless amount of fans through the internet,” said Mangione.

The online community has been buzzing about the show, with fans in discussion boards wondering who will be taping and distributing the show.  That way,  fans who cannot attend or were unable to buy at ticket before the show sold out will still get to hear the performance.  This style of sharing music recalls a time before big name record companies and MTV, a time when an artist’s popularity grew by word of mouth.

An advertisement from the April, 1 1850 Albany Daily State Register promoting a concert in Albany

In the 1850s, Albany had a vibrant local music community according to Tom Nelson exhibits designer at the Albany Institute of History and Art.  “State street was the social center of the city, and its entertainment center. There were probably half a dozen concert halls including Association Hall, Van Vechten, Tweddle Hall, and a concert hall at the Boardman and Gray. George W Warren also had his own music room at his 693 Broadway residence,” said Nelson.

While Reynolds has played in front of crowds of tens-of-thousands, Wednesday’s show will be more of the size of one of these old concert halls, holding 400 audience members.  One big difference between modern time and 1850 is the cost of attending a concert.  Tickets for Reynolds’ show cost $25 each, compared to an Albany concert by Miss Electa Cone which cost 50 cents back in 1850.  In those days, 50 cents might have equaled half a day’s work.

Musical performances in the 1850s were not limited to these concert halls though.  “This was all before recorded music so the only way to hear it was to attend a concert. Human beings like music. Many people had parlor concerts. Singing around a piano in your parlor was common for the middle class. The term chamber music comes from earlier European ensemble concerts in people’s homes,” said Nelson.

In 2011, a name like Tim Reynolds appeals to a wide variety of listening demographics, but audiences at local performances were much different back in the 1850s.  Attendees were mostly of a higher class.  “Basically the new middle class or people who had become somewhat wealthy in the early stages of the industrial revolution,” said Nelson.  While the appeal of someone like Reynolds attracts everyone ranging from college students to the working class, this would not have been the case in 1850.  “The average wage might be a dollar a day in 1850, so they would not be the target audience of a concert unless they really wanted to be social climbers,” said Nelson.

With his success and more classic approach to music, Reynolds fits the mission of the Massry Center.  “Tim represents part of the new focus of the Massry Center. Given its size we had to come up with a strategy to maximize our attendance, while also maintaining the integrity of the room at an affordable price. The goal is to offer some of the best performers in a premiere more intimate setting for various genres, whether it is classical, jazz or contemporary,” said Prizio.

“His talent is beyond compare to say the least. If you are a guitarist or a fan of how the instrument is played this concert will not disappoint. The appeal is that you get to see such a key figure in one of the biggest bands in the world step out on his own and showcase in depth his talents to the Capital Region,” said Prizio.  For those who miss Reynolds this time around, he will be back in the area with his band TR3 for Mountain Jam 2011 in Hunter, NY.


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