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Sidestreet Reny / Bio

Reny is something, well, unique. He’s a beautiful guitar player, really squeezing every drop of soul out of that tinny, wild-sounding instrument with the metal pie-plate top. But he’s a helluva a singer and songwriter, too. And he comes at it from his beginnings as a rap artist, so his songs tend to have a modern-zeitgeist, social-protest bent (lyrically), coming at you through that gut-bucket, gut-wrenching ’30s resonator guitar sound that feels dirt-poor, mad and about 100 years old. It’s an odd mix. When Reny really gets going, he stomps his foot in a frightening, raise-twist-slap-down manner that makes you fearful he’ll break something (like his ankle). Reny’s wife, Lil’ Bell, really is lil’ (about 4 foot 8, and all of maybe 80 pounds). But she can play the drums like a ring in a bell, the perfect accompaniment to Reny’s spare, brimstone performances. SSR manage to forge their own sound and push musical boundaries in an era when many other musicians strive to sound the same.

Reny has recording everything from rock, pop, hip hop to reggae and of course the blues at various stages of his 25+ year career, with the last 12 years spent stcultivating that SSR sound...a blend of many elements including blues, hip hop, folk, rock and americana to name a few, and 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.

Reny is a high school dropout, he is the son of a father who died of a heroin overdose when Reny was only 3yrs old Reny has also fought his own battles with drug addiction from the age of 13, subsequently leading to an overdose at the age of 13…flat lined and was resuscitated twice. Reny was basically aloud to run free without supervision and was basically left to grow up on his own. With a mother who survived breast cancer and a stroke, three aunts that have survived cancer and grandmothers who died both of cancer he's been touched by tragedy more than once, to say the least. With a recent diagnosis of epilepsy Reny keeps fighting and searching for alternative routes to reach out and to exist in as he has since childhood. 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 and a professional rap artist), Reny has lead and continues leading 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.

Sidestreet Reny has recieved rave reviews from publications such as Blues Matters Magazine, Blues Review, popular Myspace and Youtube pages and are already getting radio airplay nationally as well as over seas. They have recently been placed in an episode of Real Sex on HBO and are currently up for more placement in tv and film and have been added to several publishing company's catalogs. They recently toured Central America Now touring in the United States, currently in the Northwest region with upcoming Southeast fall tours as well as Southern tours for early 2013. Reny is endorsed by National Reso-Phonic Guitars, Goorin Hats, Creetin Art and Nyce Clothing.

Over the years Reny has traveled extensively and shared the stage with many acts such as A Tribe Called Quest, Gang Starr, Xanax 25, Bass and Trouble, Culver City Dub Collective, Paula Fuga and Ice Cube just 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 and Mp3's (available online only).


"Every track on this CD is unique and it is all self-penned with powerful, emotive and often critical lyrics. It is a total mixture of Blues infused with roots, folk, hip-hop, rap and soft rock all played with fingerstyle and slide on 1932 National Triolian, with double bass, drums, Blues-harp and washboard. It's taken a century of US musical heritage out of its boxes, redesigned into new textures and shapes... An album for us critics to rave about!" - Carol Borrington (Blues Matters magazine, UK)

"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)

“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

General Info

Band Members
Sidestreet Reny and Lil'Bell
Artist Name
Sidestreet Reny
Home Page
Active Since
Blues / Acoustic Duo / Urban Roots

Contact Info

Portland, OR
Robin Witt

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