Saturday, April 18, 2015

Instrumental Americana/Blues Review: Eric Tingstad-Mississippi

Release Date: 2015
Label: Indie
Eric Tingstad is a Grammy Award winning composer, producer, singer and songwriter primarily known for his finger style guitar work. Tingstad has crafted works in the Americana, Bluegrass, Alternative Country, Jazz, Blues and New Age genres. In his newest album Mississippi he indulges in all of them. This album takes a look at the cradle of music where much of the style of music Tingstad is known for originated from.

“Mississippi” is the title track to the album. It takes us on a walk alongside of one of our nation’s greatest rivers. The rambling guitar picking paired with light percussive elements blends together like water and river silt to make that muddy river flow. Jazzy at times with elements of Americana roots, this piece teems with life.

“Swamped” comes to life picking and grinning and reminds me of what it feels like to be hip deep in deadlines and hardly able to come up for air. Stop, start, and plod along all the while trying to keep your head above water with an upbeat attitude and a gallon of coffee. Textured and plucky, “Swamped” should be the song of my life and as soon as I heard it, I smiled. Bouncing, happy with the whirlwind and the myriad of theoretical plates spinning in the air, it says it all. It’s all in the hips and if you dance while life keeps going, you’ll get there.

“Chester” reminded me of a dog. Yep, a floppy eared overeager retriever bounding along at his master’s heels. Happy and alert, this piece encapsulates all that is good in the world. Guitar picking in a smooth roots rock style, Tingstad illustrates life with sound and paints a picture of happy carefree moments that should never be taken for granted. This was one of my favorite pieces on the album.

The care and precision that has gone into this album is quite evident. Mississippi is a tribute to a great river and a place in music’s history that helped to form much of music today as we know it. As a listener, I find the album also speaks to life in general. We all cry tears, feel swamped, miss a loved one and at the end of the day hopefully have a furry four legged friend to go home to. The one thing that drew it all together for me was Tingstad’s style of guitar work, stellar composition and musical imagery. Each bridge and transition was seamless and kept me wanting more. In fact, I haven’t stopped playing the album since I started. It’s good company on an afternoon when a little spring in my step is just what’s needed. I highly recommend this blues album for anyone who wants a taste of instrumental Americana at its best.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Mississippi, Swamped, Chester

Tracks:
 01. Long Boats
02. Shakin' in the Cradle
03. Mississippi
04. Trail of Tears
05. Swamped
06. Tennessee Rain
07. Danny Boy
08. Skamania
09. Highway One
10. Durango
11. Chester

 
Dana Wright, Sr. Staff Writer
April 16, 2015
Review Provided By Write A Music Review

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