Reny (J. Renard Collette) on vocals, National steel resonator, bluesharp, keys, production and songs
Lil' Bell (Maribel Landaetta) on drums, washboard and vocals
Bako Billy (Billy Fuller) on upright bass.
Reny and Bell (together for 14 years) with Billy (added in 2003) blend bluesy/funky finger-style and slide on National Resonator guitar, original poignant songwriting and solid straight forward grooves. Drawing mostly from pre-war blues, roots and folk music with a little old school rap, calypso and dancehall reggae, SSR manage to forge their own sound and push musical boundaries in an era when many other musicians strive to sound the same.
The result of their efforts is a seemingly organic blend of the elements, sewing 100 plus years of American music into a rich tapestry of eclectic yet somehow familiar sounds all their own... Like everything, and nothing you've ever heard, all at once.
In the last 20 plus years of Reny's career, he has recorded everything from folk rock to hip hop, reggae, and of course the blues. The SSR sound is one that Reny has spent the last 12 years cultivating; producing a gumbo of originality, where Delta Blues simmers with urban and carribean accents, completing this rootsy stew with wordy lyrics that showcase his unique "side street" perspective. Always weary of the traditions he represents, SSR navigates the modern musical landscape with a deep love for all that has come before, while still staying creative and vital, and constantly striving to make proud those who created that very framework on which his music is built.
From sneaking into punk shows at the age of 12 to chasing the Grateful Dead at 14 and living on his own in Europe at 16 (as a sponsored skater/rapper), Reny has lead the kind of life that deserves to be written about... and that he does, with an honest poetic voice and passionate conviction. From songs about love and hate to art and social commentary to free-form rap lyrics ranging from boastful to political, Sidestreet Reny is truly a troubadour without confines.
Over the years Reny has traveled extensively and shared the stage with such acts as A Tribe Called Quest, Gang Starr, Xanax 25, Bass and Trouble, Culver City Dub Collective, Paula Fuga and Ice Cube (to name a few) and played at festivals and clubs throughout Scandinavia, Germany, and the U.S. Reny (aka J-sun or Jason Fine) has been featured on various international remixes and albums/singles including Brian McKnight - I Can't Go For That, Vanessa Williams - The Comfort Zone remixes, Inner Circle - Bad Boys remix and a string of European releases. Reny has also accumulated an impressive back catalog of songs and recordings including 5 commercially unreleased cd's (gigs and shows only).
SSR has upcoming coverage in Blues Matters Magazine, popular Myspace and Youtube pages and are already getting radio airplay in select markests (WKUD FM Philly, INDIE 104 L.A, UNG 106.9 FM Norway, Mojo Blues 94.1 FM Macedonia). SSR is currently up for placemnt in tv and film and have been added to several publishing company's catalogs. Now touring in the United States, currently in the Northwest region with the Southwest tour planned for May/June.
***Sidestreet Reny is proudly endorsed by National Resophonic Guitars***
"from early delta blues to early Jamaican toasting and on to urban rap and hiphop is a direct line, though not a frequently traveled one, and Sidestreet Reny illustrates the links musically as well as lyrically... wow I love this!" - Woodstock Taylor UK (Garageband.com)
"the passionate nature of the music and performance variations add to the spiritual nature of the music... a special outing for those afficianados looking for something different" - Laura Phillips (Music Connection)
"one of the most interesting things I've heard in a long time" - Don Young (National Reso-Phonic guitars)
"Sidestreet Reny's "Not Seen the Light of Day" is original, well written and creative and therefore timeless" - Todd Herfindal (Peer Music)
Sidestreet Reny's "Not Seen the Light of Day" is brilliantly arranged and played, beautifully sung...there is a mind at work here that is not of this world...someone who has the music inside and is defined by it. - Susan Scott (CdBaby.com)
"Great original twist on classic blues! Distinctive, bouncy bluesy fun from the start. Nice raw blues voice. This coulda been recorded in, the 30s or 40s. Echoes of lots of blues greats, but it's no slavish homage or copycat, has it's own feel and very nice modern touches..." - James W. Harris (Georgia)
"Groove is in the heart! If you don't tap your toes or clap your hands while listening to this, you don't own a soul. Period. This has groove a mile wide, and does so with bare minimal instrumentation.Which leaves a ton of room for the sublime vocal work. The harmonies are exquisite and indeed hook the listener into the groove..." - RandomAlias (Quebec CA)
Medicine Show (duo), self prod., 98'
the Road Less Travelled (duo), self prod., 00'
Breakbeat Blues (production), self prod., 03'
Roots Reality (duo), self prod., 04'
Tonal Tonics and Musical Elixers (trio), self prod., 05'
Not Seen the Light of Day (trio), self prod., 08'
the Complete SSR & LB, self prod., - out summer 08'