Leatherbag is a songwriter by the name of Randy Reynolds. After re-locating to Austin from Houston in 2005, Leatherbag was formed. Reynolds found a musical partner in Seth Gibbs (of Brother Machine and Superpop Records) to create music strongly rooted in Americana and the new Dylan movement of the seventies. The first EP, (So Long, Sweethearts 2006), was self released by the two person group and was limited to 50 copies. It was not until the release of the band's second record (Love Me Like The Devil 2006) did Reynolds begin to find footing as a songwriter and performer. The eight song disc was intended to be an experiment in the art of songwriting where the same series of chords could find exponential melodies. Here Reynolds was joined by lap steel and cello and was Leatherbag's first release on the Austin label, Superpop Records.
"The songs move with a mysterious, slightly uneven phrasing that makes it seem as if only he could properly sing them."---austinsound.net
Now playing more and more shows, Reynolds found himself looking for something more than what he was doing. With new songs written and an itch to change, Leatherbag made the move to a fuller sound. The addition of Joey Thompson (of The Archibalds), along with violin, drums, and bass, the band made their first LP, Nowhere Left To Run in 2007. The album took on Reynolds' passion for songwriting and his ear for Dylan and Springsteen.
"It's a move, musically at least, on par with Another Side of Bob Dylan, and the debt to Dylan on songs like 'Sister' is fairly unmistakable. But Nowhere just as much shows another side to Leatherbag's songwriting as well."---austinsound.net
After a year of shows and steady challenges, Reynolds again looked for change. The band started to focus on pop music of the 60's and 70's. This changed the sensibilities of the group and the songs Reynolds was writing. After playing as a three piece for a small stint and then the addtion of Brent Pennington (of The Channel and Golden Bear), the band started to find a groove that would shape the sound of a new record. That record was called Love & Harm (Superpop 2008). The album was a more conscious effort by a more confident band and songwriter.
"His tunes jump from the garage to the sound of summer and the back porch, each bristling with energy and vivid images...The shift is remarkably sharp yet totally in character, a testament to the presence of a major tunesmith."---austin chronicle, jim caligiuri
Over just a few years, Leatherbag has been an ever changing process in songwriting and performance. That change continues with Reynolds and his newfound backing band The Pretty Tuffs (members of Jude/Ross, Tammany Hall Machine and Sons of Hercules) recording a 2 new EP's entitled 'Tomorrow' and 'Everything I Once Knew', to be released in '09. The EP's will be a continued effort within influence, style, songwriting, and performance, basing themselves strongly in the realms of power pop and the new sincerity movement.