January 17, 2009

Guitarist's Southwest-themed album

Eric Tingstad goes a little native

The acoustic guitarist says his new album "Southwest" has a sound he's been working on for years.You might say Eric Tingstad has gone native.

The Grammy-winning, first-rate fingerstyle guitarist has put aside his pastoral chamber sound for something a little more earthy and rustic, with a Clint Eastwood-spaghetti Western vibe and a nod to American Indian culture.

His new album is aptly called "Southwest." Tingstad will be showcasing much of "Southwest" during his concert tonight at Edmonds Center for the Arts.

Tingstad also will play some of his most-requested favorites such as "Medicine Tree" and other earlier hits.

Though the album puts the pastoral stuff on pause, "Southwest" is not really a product of Tingstad's discovering a new musical style, he said, but a direction he had been heading his whole life. The album itself is a project--originally called "the desert project"--he had been compiling on and off for eight years.

"The album was more a natural progression," Tingstad said in a phone interview from his home on the Sammamish plateau. "I'm from the Pacific Northwest and I've always had the woods and rain and weather, and I'm not really a city kid, so I was having those sorts of adventures and we are entrenched in Native American culture here … so I ran with those wolves."

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