While most 6 year olds are discovering things of interest like toys and video games, Cory Reynolds was discovering music. He found the rhythm and groove of it all captivating. “My folks listened to The Beatles, Led Zepplin, Mad Dogs and Englishmen and the Stones a lot. I would pretend I was playing all of the instruments at the same time, like it was a game.” Guitar became his instrument of choice, and he’s never looked back.
Although he feels a connection to all music, he thinks the blues come naturally to him and believes “that’s where it all comes from.” Working at Guitar House for 17 years allowed him to pick up finger style and flat picking, and he credits those skills to his diversity. “Maybe it’s the pieces in me, but I have to have diversity. Funk is a ton of fun as it’s the perfect opportunity to learn chord inversions. You are playing less, so you can really let the rhythm section breathe.” Another strong suit in Cory’s arsenal is undoubtedly rock. He closed the IDL Ballroom presentation of the Ozzy Osbourne Tribute by performing “No More Tears” and says, “I really had to work at the solo for No More Tears. It was the last song of the night, and I knew the caliber of players that were all playing that night. There was NO WAY I was going to have the honor of closing the show and stink up the joint lol!!!” He delivered a brilliant performance, and if you didn’t know Cory Reynolds name before that moment, you certainly did after.
Photo Credit: Jennifer Biddle Tulsa Concert Photography
Reynolds has been a fixture in the music scene since the mid 90’s. He’s collaborated in bands like Hyacinth House, Insufficient Funds, Crossland, and Uninvited Guests, and currently plays in Crash Funk and Early Morning Snakes. He digs deep into the Tulsa music scene and says, “I think Tulsa has a very diverse music scene and is a cut above the rest compared to cites of our size. The caliber of players is outstanding, and we prove to get along very well considering we are all competing for the folks to come out to ‘our’ shows. Yet you will see musicians supporting that same ‘competition’ when they have a night off and sit in with band playing, more often than not.”
Cory’s journey has been filled with challenges, which in turn has led him to serve as worship leader at Core Church and Abba Compassionate Ministries every weekend. Not one to back down from his past, he whole heartedly believes he “was spared to help lead worship and bring a little flavor to the table!” He says, “I see lives changing weekly and it removes all doubt about why I was spared.” Building on his love of faith and songwriting, he is currently working with friend Liz Zotta on 100% faith based material. According to Cory, “she is wonderful at receiving lyrics that aren’t so common place.”
And as an instructor at School of Rock, he is bringing it full circle by leading the way for children 8-18 to experience and fall in love with music in the same manner he did. As the most rewarding gig he’s ever had, he says, “they take one private lesson a week, and also have one rehearsal a week. It’s so cool to see them learn how to play along side each other. We get them performance ready for a seasonal show in just a few months. They get to go out, make music, learn from there mistakes, hear other kids make mistakes, see other kids crush their parts and at the end of the day, they have experienced what it took guys like myself, years to accomplish. So rewarding!!”
With the humility of a saint, and the talent of a legend, Cory Reynolds has etched his mark in Tulsa music history. You can catch him with Crash Funk on Friday May 7th and Early Morning Snakes on June 25th. Both shows will be at Cimarron Bar located at 2619 S. Memorial Drive.