Eric Tingstad continues his exploration of, appreciation for, and expertise with pedal and lap steel guitar music on Badlands, an outstanding addition to his legendary discography. From the gorgeous, sepia-toned cover art to the stellar cast of accompanists, including long-time partner- in-crime woodwind player Nancy Rumbel, everything about this album is exemplary. While the liner notes state that the music on Badlands “honors the American roots music and Western culture” it also uses such as a jumping off point, morphing the “roots” into something much broader and richer. That’s no surprise considering Tingstad’s long history of recording acoustic music which bridges/merges genres seamlessly in wholly accessible ways. This is one of 2012’s best albums—period!
Eric Tingstad is a distinguished artist and record producer who over the course of his lengthy career has recorded many fine albums in a variety of genres.
Famous for his expertise as a songwriting guitarist in a variety of genres, the diverse range of influences include Americana, alternative country, ambient, blues, jazz, rock and new age music. Eric Tingstad’s new release Badlands is a vibrant follow-up to his GRAMMY® Nominated album Southwest.
New Age Music World site host John P. Olsen had an opportunity to interview New Age GRAMMY® Award recipient Eric Tingstad in October of 2012. This interview publication with a variety of topics follows the release of his new 2012 album titled Badlands. Today we are pleased to present their conversation to his fans and to all international site visitors.
Nashville, TN – February 27) For just a second, think classic instrumental rock. “Sleep Walk,” “Green Onions,” “Apache,” “Tall Cool One.” “Walk Don’t Run.” Each of these timeless tunes captured widespread attention, and all but “Apache” shot to the top of the charts when rock and roll was fairly new. Now, think Americana. Before it had a name, it’s the music that was played out on the front porch with the whole family gathered round light years before music became big business and lyric content was king.
Grammy-award winning American fingerstyle guitarist, Eric Tingstad, is renowned for creating beautifully crafted instrumental tunes with a definite “sense of place.” His latest outings move away from chamber-style classical guitar, into the western roots of American music. On Feb. 21 he released “Badlands,” a 12-cut collection following a Grammy-nomination for “Southwest” in 2007.
With layers of American fingerstyle guitar over crunchy telecaster and infectious grooves, “Badlands” features abundant steel guitars, dobro, fiddle, and Shamanic drumming. Tingstad’s talent is enhanced with the enlisted help of guitarist and dobro player, Cindy Cashdollar; percussionist Byron Metcalf; and woodwind virtuoso, Nancy Rumbel; leading a posse of contributing session players.
Eleven tunes out of the even dozen are original compositions that rock, chill, saunter, and soar above western roots. From the opening tune, “Ceremony of the Aurora” through the final cut, “The Last Roundup” Tingstad takes us on an atmospheric jaunt that is salt of the earth, pure and rootsy where you become very aware lyrics would be an unnecessary embellishment. The refreshing absence of lyrics lets the music breathe and blossom. And the listener is allowed to drive through their own personal soundscape arriving at a chosen destination without someone whispering in their ear.
A great deal of discretion and liberty is taken attempting to define Americana music. Most definitely it’s the enormously popular renegade stepchild to country music. Being the wild child and all, Americana doesn’t fit perfectly into a slot where one size fits all. It is liberal and traditional. It’s all about wide open rural space as much as it’s about personal introspective moments. However the music happens to speak to you, is a matter of personal choice. If there’s a time you need to reach down to find your boot straps, or simply lay back and take it all in, Tingstad sets a perfect stage for whatever the situation requires.
Best known as the harmonic half of Tingstad & Rumbel, Tingstad launched his career as a classical guitarist trained in the Segovian tradition. His first outing with Nancy Rumbel launched this unlikely duo of classical guitar, oboe, English horn and ocarina in 1985 when their highly acclaimed holiday CD, The Gift sold 11,000 units in ten weeks. The Gift has sold hundreds of thousands of copies and is a holiday classic. Playing over a hundred dates a year in small rural communities, national parks, and America’s best concert halls did not go unnoticed and in 2003 Tingstad & Rumbel won a Grammy Award in support of “Acoustic Garden.” Well-received, and highly revered for their musicianship, stewardship of the land, preservation of the environment, contributions to humanitarian causes, art and architecture, Tingstad & Rumbel have shared a musical journey few artists will have the pleasure to experience. And yes, Tingstad and Rumbel are married, but not to each other. Eric is married to Carol Tingstad, with whom he has two beautiful grown daughters.
New Music Review: Americana Album Badlands by Award-winning Guitarist, and Cheshire Studios Record Producer Eric Tingstad.
GRAMMY® Award-winning recording artist and producer Eric Tingstad, renowned for his expertise as a songwriting guitarist in a variety of genres, strides into new territories on a vibrant follow-up to his GRAMMY® nominated album Southwest.
Eric Tingstad’s newest release Badlands is Americana album said to honor the traditions of American roots and Western culture. With that byline description I couldn’t agree more. I have to admit the 12 songs on Badlands is not what I first expected, but on the other hand, I knew Eric Tingstad is an established, well-known artist who has produced many fine albums in a variety of genres. Tingstad’s diverse range of music influences include Americana, alternative country, ambient, blues, jazz, rock and of course, new age music.
With this far ranging diversity of influences, and Eric Tingstad’s reputation as an artist led to the prospect of something grand. It didn’t take long before I found the direction he would choose, and distance he was prepared to travel on Badlands. Akin to his Southwest album, Badlands is a moving example of Americana music at its finest, beautiful in every vivid detail from start to finish.
One characteristic I heard right away was the cinematic latitude Badlandsconveys to the listener. It’s an attribute where colorful illustrations paint a picture of the desert Southwest with vibrant transparency. It’s a moving portraiture of a bygone era, yet before you lay a stylish, modern day representation of contemporary Americana music. Most songs are ingrained with a casual and upbeat atmosphere, while several songs are shaded with light country and Native American influences.
Badlands is unique to most instrumental albums by the use of lap steel and pedal steel guitar implemented in unison with a variety of traditional instruments, performed by a group of talented artists. Among the group is co-artist and award-winning artist Nancy Rumbel, who has her own solo career and equally starring role with Eric as the GRAMMY® Award-winning duo Tingstad and Rumbel.
On Badlands you will discover a pronounced Southwestern style of Americana music, made more apparent by the pedal steel guitars and pairing of more traditional instrumentals of English horn, bass guitar, organ, violin and percussion. It can be said Eric Tingstad approached a fork in the road, and had a choice to make when producing Badlands. By all accounts taking a road less traveled by others has clearly turned out to be a winning choice.
Musicians performing on Badlands include Cindy Cashdollar (dobro, steel and lap steel guitars), Ben Smith (drums), Byron Metcalf (frame, bass and buffalo drums, clay pots, djembe and udu), Garey Shelton (bass), Terry Lauber (pedal steel guitar), Andrew Joslyn (violin), Eric Robert (organ), Nancy Rumbel (English horn, oboe and ocarina), Petra Stahl (voice), Narayan Baltzo (trumpet).