Mavericks co-founder heads songwriters workshop Saturday

Robert Reynolds keeps a messenger bag filled with journals and pens with him at all times.

A quick scroll through the voice memos application on his cellphone shows countless random recordings.

Each are never far from Reynolds because he never knows the moment a new song, lyric or melody will come to him.

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“They’re stuff with fragments of songs or sometimes completed songs,” he said. “You never know when they will come, so some of them are on napkins, notebooks, random scraps of paper or whatever I had at that particular moment.”

The 56-year-old co-founder of the highly acclaimed country band The Mavericks will share what he knows about songwriting during a workshop at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Jackson County Visitor Center, 100 N. Broadway St., Seymour, as part of the Crossroads Acoustic Fest.

Reynolds will be joined by guest Dean Owens, a Scottish singer-songwriter. The workshop is free and open to the public.

Reynolds is scheduled to play later that day at 6 p.m. at Rails Craft Brew and Eatery with Seymour native Stephanie Lambring.

“I’m just a small part of the nebulous of songwriting,” he said. “I can pass on some good practices and what I know and the good principles to work with.”

Reynolds has picked up a thing or two since he began writing songs at the age of 14. That led him to being a co-founder of The Mavericks with frontman Raul Malo in 1989 after playing gigs in Miami.

He has written songs for The Mavericks, Cheap Trick and The Derailers and co-wrote the 2005 hit “Something Like a Broken Heart” for country band Hanna-McEuen. Reynolds also has written or co-written songs for 30 children’s short films for Scholastic Company.

Reynolds hosted his own television show on CMT called “Raiders of Rock” where he picked music memorabilia.

During Reynolds’ time playing bass guitar with The Mavericks (1989 to 2004, 2012 to 2014), the band won a 1995 Grammy Award for best country performance. The band also won Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music awards.

The band has sold more than 5 million records and still plays today after a break from 2004 to 2012.

Reynolds left the band in 2014 to overcome an addiction to pain medication, which he has successfully done the last four years, he said.

In 2015, Reynolds moved to Madison, where he has a home. He spends time in Nashville, Tennessee, too.

He counts his influences as The Beatles, Hank Williams Sr., Buddy Holly, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and more. But country music always influenced him.

“I just have had a staple of country music my whole life,” he said.

Reynolds also played country music, which was not all too common in Miami, Florida, in the late 1980s.

He can remember meeting Malo and they became friends and talked about forming a band for a couple of years. They didn’t form the band for one reason or another but would run into each other every so often.

Reynolds went to listen to Malo play at a club called Churchill’s Hideaway. It was a punk club owned by a British man in the Haitian District of Miami.

“Interesting combination there,” Reynolds said with a laugh. “I remember hearing him sing and how great his voice was. At that moment, I knew our lives would change because my experience was other-worldly.”

And change came after they finally formed what became The Mavericks.

The band went on to win its awards, tour the world and play some of the largest and most historic venues. He also said he enjoyed the experience of CMA Music Festival, which takes place each June in Nashville and is the largest country music festival. It was formerly called Fan Fair, a term Reynolds prefers.

Thirty years later, the band is still touring and recording.

Reynolds spends time recording, playing and teaching. He speaks at Vanderbilt and Belmont universities in Nashville about the music business. He also has completed a residency at a college in Denmark.

“I do some guest appearances for songwriting, publishing or something really specific,” he said.

Shawn Busby, an organizer for Crossroads Acoustic Fest, said the committee wanted to add a songwriting workshop to the event. He said it also shows the processes the artists who play use to sharpen their craft.

“We’re hoping each year to have something new and different to grow it,” he said. “It’s a perfect addition, and I think it’s going to be terrific, and I can’t wait because I don’t think you have to be a musician or songwriter to find it interesting.”

Reynolds said he is excited about the opportunity to host the workshop. He said songwriting can open up an entirely different world.

“I think songwriting is the most magical place you can go outside of interpersonal relationships,” he said. “It’s so powerful. You sit down and there’s nothing, and you get a notebook, pen and a guitar or piano, and a few minutes later, you have something.”

Reynolds said when one considers the history of songwriting, they see Paul McCartney, Van Morrison and other legends started with nothing but the same tools and came up with songs that affected the history of music.

“A moment before, it didn’t exist. Moments later, it did,” he said.

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What: Crossroads Acoustic Fest Songwriters Workshop hosted by Robert Reynolds and Dean Owens

When: 10:30 a.m. Saturday

Where: Jackson County Visitor Center, 100 N. Broadway St., Seymour