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The best kept secret in music


"Reynosa on a mission to bring unique sound, new CD"

December, 22, 2006

They're a little bit country. They're a little bit rock 'n' roll. They're Reynosa -- five guys on a mission to make it happen with a unique sound and a brand spanking new CD, "Directions." The new disc, which will be officially available Dec. 29 at their CD release party, is chock full of songs in their signature style, a mixture of indie rock and classic country.

Since the last time I talked with the boys of Reynosa, they've gone through at least one major change, the addition of a new keyboardist, Aubrey Nichols, 20 (who happens to be an old friend of mine from grade school). Along with Nichols is Jordan Richards, 22, on guitar and lead vocals; Josh Duff, 22, on bass; Nathan Dillaha, 23, on guitar; and Josh Barnhill, 20, on drums.

I caught up with Reynosa on a beautiful day in Bayview Park to talk about "Directions" and the upcoming release party. The 11-track CD combines bluegrass vibes and country vocals with some rock and a little punk for a fresh sound that's fun to listen to. The guys' shared influences -- including Wilco, Garth Brooks and Southern and classic rock -- also are evident in the CD's songs.

"We went for an overall really live sounding feel on the CD," Nichols said.

Clad in neutral-colored shirts, jeans and sporting rugged facial hair, these guys are pretty low-key, but are passionate when it comes to talking about their music. The new CD, they say, represents two years of songwriting, and they're extremely pleased with the way it turned out. The songs on it were inspired by life in general, Jordan says.

"As vague as that is, it's little things that happen in life," he says. "We try to keep it simple and stick to what we know."

When asked to pick their favorite songs from the album, the band members concluded that it couldn't be done.

"That's like asking me to pick out a favorite kid," Richards says, as the rest nod in agreement.

The four friends have known each other for several years, and though Nichols has only been in the group for about six months, he's known the others for six years. They say being in a band together has helped each of them hone their skills at their respective instruments, some of which were picked up just for the band.

One thing the members of Reynosa share in common is their passion for music and for their band.

"We all only think about this band," Nichols says.

Reynosa's plans for the future of the band are simple: "Tour a lot and play a lot," Duff says.

There's also a possible tour for February in the works. Other than that, the guys just want to get their music out there to the people.

Don't miss out on Reynosa's CD release party and show with Look Mexico on Dec. 29 at The Handlebar, 319 N. Tarragona St. You will be able to purchase "Directions" for a special release-show price of $8. You can get more info on Reynosa from their Web page at The show starts at 10 p.m. Reynosa suggests guests take their "smoking lungs and drinking livers" to this extravaganza.

"It's a good way to end the year," Duff says.
- Emily Lullo

""Directions" - Reynosa"

With the release their first official full-length album, "Directions," Reynosa prove that "Southern rock" doesn't have to be a negative term. The songs are a perfect combination of old-school country and folk rock, from the rustic vocals to the sincere lyrics. And Reynosa is nothing if not sincere. Even at their most twangy, "tear-in-my-beer" moments, they don't sound the least bit gimmicky or predictable. From the undeniable swagger and pulse of "I'm Coming Home" to the understated melancholy of "Trouble," every track on "Directions" is a gem in one way or another.

Hot Tracks: "I'm Coming Home," "Find Some Faith" and "Live Before You Die"
You'll Like It, If You Like: Low-fi indie rock or alt-country

- Pensacola Independent News

"Reynosa Blends Country, Indie Rock"

Members of the local indie, country-rock band Reynosa are proud to announce the release of their latest album, “Directions” and their upcoming album release party at the Handle Bar in downtown Pensacola, Dec. 29. The band will perform their swaggering set of southern-bred tunes along with the eccentric, Tallahassee, Fla. based indie band Look Mexico.

“We like to promote our live shows as much as possible,” said guitarist and Gulf Breeze resident Nathan Dillahay.

Bassist Josh Duff explained why the show would be well worth the $5 cover charge.

“We play as hard as we can and have fun,” Duff said. “We want the audience to do the same.”

Reynosa, which initially named themselves after the Pensacola road where their practices were held, bend the contemporary boundaries of the rock and country genres, successfully melding their own blend of twangy, ear catching songs that stick in one’s mind like gravy and biscuits sticks to the ribs.

Directions, recorded in little over a month at Fish Pie Records in Gulf Breeze, fits any listener like their favorite, wornin pair of Wranglers and fills the audiophile’s palate like a hearty meal of perfectly crafted beef stroganoff - thick, satisfying, texturally diverse, yet consistent.

The very first track, “It’s All Uphill From Here,” perfectly sets the tone for the remainder of the album. The tune’s upbeat and telecaster laden introduction easily gives way to a blithe, bass driven verse which then gives way to a magnetic chorus that hooks listeners instantly. After that, prepare for a dusty, horseback ride along the rocky banks along the Rio Grande, complete with unexpected turns, wide open pastures and the occasional desert oasis. Standout tracks include the sultry “I’m coming home,” which features a sound reminiscent of a vintage muscle car cruising some long lost freeway, “Rectify,” which paints a sullen picture of a smoky, whiskey soaked, country karaoke bar, “Good Bye Woman” with its edacious rhythm, “The Promised Land” and its introspective lyrics and “Shotgun Girl” with its lonely highway feel.

To hear samples from Directions, visit Reynosa online at music. CD’s will be available at the Handle Bar on Dec. 29 for only $8 and will be available at East Hill CD Exchange on 12th Avenue in Pensacola for $10 after the show. The new album will also be available online at and
- Gulf Breeze News

"Downhome Boys"

A skinny kid with a ball of unkempt hair plays a steady rolling melody on the keys. "Yeah!" comes a holler from crowd. The dimly lit room is small and crowded. The drummer drops a low rumbling backbeat. A bearded guy in a floppy fedora plays a rugged electric guitar intro. A second guitarist and bass player join the mix. Girls scream, clap their hands, shake their hips and sing along to the opening lines of the hard-driving kiss-off "Goodbye Woman." Extended cheering greets the musicians after the song ends.

The crude video clip vividly captures a hungry young band playing its ass off for an appreciative hometown crowd. It's posted on YouTube as "Reynosa live at the Handlebar." Reynosa took its name from the street where the five musicians practice. The Handlebar is an old rock den that serves as the band's headquarters in downtown Pensacola, one of the least rock 'n' roll cities in the entire nation.

Pensacola is where Dubya drubbed Kerry in '04 and George Wallace won support in '68. The area's favorite son is Republican-congressman-turned-right-wing-blowhard Joe Scarborough.

Pensacola's East Hill Christian is a private school "committed to a doctrine, which supports the infallibility of scripture, that the Bible is the ultimate authority against which all evidence is examined." That's where four of the five men from Reynosa, ranging in age from 20 to 23, met. The school is also where keyboardist Aubrey Nichols stole "a sweet Hammond B-3" from a faculty member.

"I borrowed it for the day, and then she got fired. ... so, I kept it," confesses Nichols during a recent phone interview. That same Hammond can be heard on Reynosa's commendable debut CD Directions, which the band just finished recording in December. The album is a roots-rock collection of songs about escaping the drudgery of their small-minded, Bible-thumping hometown.

"A soaring prophet, selfish nonsense, aren't we all one in the same?" sings guitarist Jordan Richards, the band's primary songwriter. "But don't you let this town, ever keep you down."

Those lines are from the song "Live Before You Die," a simple sentiment sold with lived-in sincerity. "We were definitely not the poster boys of some Christian school -- you can tell by listening to our CD. We got in a lot of trouble," Nichols says.

How have their families reacted to the band's CD and their gigs at Pensacola's Handlebar, a near legendary beer joint where Nirvana, Black Flag and R.E.M. have reportedly played?

"It's been weird and different for all of us," Nichols says. "The music has not been quite as well received by some of our families, while others offer a lot of support."

Another highlight from the Reynosa album is the breezy, Byrds-ish "Find Some Faith." It's a song about lost innocence and putting faith in loved ones rather than higher powers. Anyone raised on religion who has grappled with faith issues should be able to relate. Richards sings: "Tell me about the faith you used to have/ Like a swing-set girl on the wings of her dad/ Filling up your shoes with sand and never losing the grip of your mothers hand."

Musically, Reynosa blends the twin guitar and keyboard attack of the Allman Brothers Band with Ryan Adams-style alt-country. Interestingly, the band also cites Garth Brooks as an influence on their MySpace page.

"Pop-country is what everyone listens to here; this place is slammed with pop-country," says Richards during a separate phone interview. "When Toby Keith plays the [Pensacola] Civic Center they close down the city.

"Garth Brooks is someone who all of us remember from a younger part of our lives," he continues. "He's had a cool thing going with his live show."

Nichols looks at the Brooks issue from a similar perspective.

"Most of us liked Garth Brooks," he says. "Jordan sure did. I never really got too big into him, but Jordan showed us a live DVD and he's just so incredible to watch on stage. Watching him in front of 80,000 people, just taking control, is something. I have a lot of respect for him as an entertainer."

When Reynosa plays Thursday at the New World Brewery, it'll be the band's first performance in Tampa (they've played St. Pete before). The date is part of a mini-tour that includes stops in Tallahassee, Orlando, Daytona Beach, New Orleans and Birmingham, Ala. The band members say they would prefer to stay on the road rather than return to their dead-end jobs in Pensacola.

The band formed in '05, and Nichols just joined several months back. He played guitar and mandolin, but his pals in Reynosa needed a keyboardist. They had shows lined up, so "I quit my job two weeks before our two-week tour and learned to play piano," Nichols says.

The keyboardist cites the Allmans' iconic Eat A Peach as the album from which he draws his most inspiration: "Definitely, that's the pinnacle."

Before the Reynosa guys embraced the Florida-bred sounds of the Allmans, the same stuff their parents enjoyed, they rebelled. - Creative Loafing


2005 - Self Titled Ep
2006 - "Directions" Full length


Feeling a bit camera shy


In February of 2005, highschool friends Jordan Richards, Nathan Dillaha (guitars), and Matthew Putnam (piano) got together to start a small country / indie rock project. After the first few sessions they realized how special the music they had been writing was. Shortly thereafter Josh Duff (bass) and Josh Barnhill (drums) joined and Reynosa was formed. Pulling their influences from bands such as The band, Wilco, Ryan Adams, Bonnie Prince Billie, Drive-by Truckers, and other alt-country and indie bands Reynosa stood out in their home town of Pensacola Fl., amidst a sea of hardcore and emo bands and gained much local acclaim.

In early 2006 Matthew Putnam left the band and highschool friend Aubrey Nichols took his place bringing more cohesion and drive to Reynosa, and new songs and plans to record the first first full length began to take place.Recorded live at Fish Pie Studio in Gulf Breeze, Fl., Reynosas first LP came out late 2006 after a series of small tours and out-of-town shows. The album covers an array of different paths that Reynosa is capable of taking musically, and broad spectrum of thoughts and experiences, all the while having an underlying sense of hope. The album was aptly named "Directions".

In 2007 Reynosa will be touring as much as possible promoting this new album.