ACL Music Fest Friday Interviews

The new sincerity of Randy Reynolds

ACL Music Fest Friday Interviews
Photo by Mary Sledd

Leatherbag

11:20am Austin Ventures stage

Working overnights for KLRU, Leatherbag's Randy Reynolds often spent his midnight breaks in the Austin City Limits sound stage, writing songs at a piano, vibrating the program's indelible performances. Reynolds brought those songs to life in April as one of three local artists chosen to flagship ACL's new Stage Left Web series.

"It's the best experience I've had playing, ever," Reynolds attests. "Just being in the dressing rooms where everyone has ever been was incredible."

Reynolds' sense of historical awareness scores his conversation and music, leaping through influences both profound and obscure with an eclectic, archival enthusiasm. Since his 2007 debut LP, Nowhere Left to Run, Leatherbag has evolved from sparse folk and country-rock to the power-pop of last year's Love & Harm. Now, with the band solidified into a forceful quartet, Reynolds' style has begun mining Austin's own New Sincerity aesthetic of the 1980s.

"What I mainly see within New Sincerity is people putting everything on the table in a manner that everyone can understand," offers Reynolds. "It might be regarded as more important than it actually was, but I want to take the spirit of that and move it forward.

"In my own little mind, I just really believe in the tradition of this city," he continues. "Wherever you go, whatever club you go to, someone that you admire has played at one of these places, and that's an incredible thing to think about. All I would like to do is fit in nicely with all these people that I love, and if I can do that, I've accomplished my goal completely."

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