2015 / Cheshire Records
Review by Michael Debbage
If you were asked to describe the Mississippi River one could describe it as a watershed that flows through multiple states with a multitude of characteristics and personality. Well that would somewhat describe Eric Tingstad’s latest creation that pays tribute to the Mississippi courtesy of his exquisite guitar work. With his musical styles touching on bluegrass, folk, and underlying elements of soft rock Tingstad appears to be focused yet gently meanders through multiple states of genres making this album a very unique exploration.
With the flowing rhythmic “Long Boats” opening the album it is very clear from the onset that this album was going to make every effort to be an audio attempt to describe its grand and diverse subject matter. With a guitar style somewhat reminiscent of Mark Knopfler and John Adorney, Tingstad also sub-layers it with his banjo and steel guitar work. Similar results can be found on “Swamped” and the closer “Chester”. Meanwhile the above is countered by the subdued bluesy title track as well as the more melancholy “Trail Of Tears” featuring a somewhat lazier quality. These tracks are further supplemented by the slow flowing tender “Tennessee Rain” and its delightfully understated melody.
With the exception of the well arranged yet rather odd inclusion of the traditional melody “Danny Boy”, Tingstad’s tribute to the Mississippi flows and meanders effortlessly through multi sub-genres in a most unified fashion. Needless to say Mississippi much like his impressive Southwest album is a diverse yet cohesive recording that once again encapsulates the diversity and beauty of its subject matter making for a delightful soundscape.
January 17, 2016