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Blue Merle's Luke Reynolds Returns with Solo Debut

08/12/2008
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(PR) Luke Reynolds, former Blue Merle front man, returns as Pictures And Sound with a self-titled debut album, August 19th on Vanguard Records. In 2005, Reynolds found success with Blue Merle's well-received album and smash hit, Burning In The Sun. Blue Merle has since parted ways allowing Pictures And Sound to flourish.

Reynolds, who played a dozen instruments on the Pictures And Sound album including pedal steel, guitars and keyboards, is joined by his friends Dave Wilder (Macy Gray, Liz Phair) on bass and Pete McNeal (Jem, Z-Trip, Ricki Lee Jones) on drums, to create an album that is modern in its arrangements and soundscapes yet a throw back to an era when songs were written and recorded in a more organic atmosphere.

The ten tracks, produced by Jacquire King (Modest Mouse, Tom Waits, Kings of Leon) were written over a two and a half year period where Reynolds lead a nomadic lifestyle writing in cities around the world from Barcelona, Spain to the United Kingdom to Los Angeles to Bristol, Vermont.

Reynolds began the process by spending the first summer and early fall living in a tent in the mountains near his birthplace of central Vermont, converting the basement floor of an 1800's grain mill into a studio. "I wanted to break it all down, bring it back to the place which initially shaped me and then reinvent myself from scratch."

The album was recorded live to two-inch tape capturing the feeling of the music as Reynolds describes it, "raw, optimistic, high energy and wide open with lots of space in the sound. Songs like 100 Directions and It's You were two truly magical moments for me in the studio. I just had to get out of the way and let them happen. It was also a dream come true to work with Willie Nelson who sang and played guitar on Every War, a song I had written specifically with him in mind."

Growing up in a geodesic dome built by his parents in the early '70s, his father a canoe and guitar builder, his mother an early childhood educator, Reynolds spent three years guiding boats, wilderness backcountry trips and working on cattle ranches in Montana, Wyoming and Colorado before pursuing music full time. Since then his music has been featured in films like Revolution Green, a documentary on bio-diesel featuring Willie Nelson and narrated by Woody Harrelson. In addition, he has lent his musical talents to documentary films from environmental organizations like the Conservation Alliance as well as performing at benefit concerts such as Farm AID and VH1 Save The Music.

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