TR3 stands test of time through backbeat of friendship

Tim Reynolds, center, with his band TR3 — Tim Reynolds Trio — Dan Martier on drums, left, and Mick Vaughn on bass. 

After a decade of making music and touring together, some bands — and friendships — can become stale.

Not so with a trio of musical musketeers known as TR3.

Led by guitar virtuoso Tim Reynolds, lead guitarist in the Dave Matthews Band, the band also features singer-bassist Mick Vaughn and singer-drummer Dan Martier. The DMB guitar slinger also provides vocals.

TR3 tours about one-third of the year — fall- to early-spring when DMB doesn’t tour, and when Reynolds is not touring with Matthews as the twin-acoustic-guitar act Dave and Tim.

“The reason we lasted so long is because I think we are all coming from the same place,” Martier says. “We have a lot of the same influences: The Led Zeppelin, the Steely Dan, the Frank Zappa, the prog rock. And then we each bring in our own stuff.”

Martier and Vaughan performed together as drummer and bass player in myriad situations for 17 years before a moment of serendipitous synergy placed the two friends in Reynolds’ radar.

The A-Team

The first incarnation of TR3 was formed by Reynolds in the mid-’80s and toured with rotating line-ups through the ‘90s. When Reynolds decided to pursue a solo career, TR3 was abandoned. Reynolds moved to Santa Fe and put TR3 in the rear view mirror — until 2007, when he moved to the Outer Banks and met Martier and Vaughan. Shortly thereafter, fans were treated to a TR3 reboot.

“When Tim came into our world, it was so easy,” Martier says. “There is a true respect and love for each other.”

The band’s latest album, “Like Some Kind of Alien Invasion,” released in 2014, was two years in the making.

The bond remains tight because they don’t wring the joy dry by spending too much time together.

Both Reynolds and Martier live on the Outer Banks — Reynolds in Kill Devil Hills, Martier in Southern Shores — but Vaughan lives in Seattle, Washington.

“We really live together on the road, so we hardly ever hang out,” he says. “We give each other space, because on the road we play, we travel, we laugh, we sweat, we work and just really enjoy each other. We get our fill maybe, so at home we spend time with our own lives and family.”

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