Tinsley's Talent 'Reflected' On Solo Debut
After a dozen years as violinist in Dave Matthews Band, Boyd Tinsley says the making of his debut solo disc, "True Reflections," was a liberating endeavor. The album arrives June 17 via Bama Rags/RCA.After a dozen years as violinist in Dave Matthews Band, Boyd Tinsley says the making of his debut solo disc, "True Reflections," was a liberating endeavor. The album arrives June 17 via Bama Rags/RCA.
"You just feel slightly naked," Tinsley admits. "I always had a violin [in the studio with DMB] and this session it was weird to be an instrumentalist and not to have an instrument in your hand. At first it was like, 'Wow, this is kind of weird.' It's just me and a microphone."
Before there was the Dave Matthews Band, there was the Boyd Tinsley Band, which spotlighted the violinist as a singer and songwriter. In fact, the title track of his debut disc, which features Matthews on vocals, was written about 12 years ago. While never recorded by DMB, it has been a concert favorite ever since the band's rise into prominence. Tinsley's other DMB co-writing credit (along with Matthews and Peter Griesar) came on the band's 1996 hit "So Much To Say."
"Everybody has input," says Tinsley of the collaborative style of DMB. "If you have something to say, say it. If it's a good idea, everybody will recognize it. We all just sort of work together to try to make the song right and the music right.
"And that's what we did here. I just basically told the musicians, 'Here are the songs, here are how they sound, but you guys are great musicians, just go in there and play them the way that you are feeling it.' And people did that. People felt free to really express themselves and to play like they wanted to play. And I think we got some really cool, honest beautiful music here, just because of that."
"True Reflections" features contributions from Lisa Germano, Doyle Bramhall II, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Chris Bruce, Toshi Reagon, and Corey Harris. While excited about his solo debut, Tinsley's main focus is already back with DMB's summer tour. The 54-date run kicks off with two shows June 17-18 in Columbus, Ohio.
However, without a new album to support (the band's last studio disc was 2002's "Busted Stuff") and with Dave Matthews' own solo project, "Some Devil," due this fall, Tinsley says the group is positioning this tour as a rediscovery of its deeper catalog. The violinist also predicts the band may even work up a few of Matthews' solo tracks, but nothing is confirmed.
"Just expect five guys getting on stage and just jamming and playing some music," says Tinsley. "We're going to break out some stuff we haven't played for a while. There is so much stuff. There are songs that I have probably forgotten about. One song that I know we haven't played in awhile that is really cool and I like is 'Minarets.' It would be cool to break out 'Typical Situation.'"
"There is a whole host of them that we haven't done," he continues. "And once we break them out again, they are going to be fresh because it has been so long since we played them, we're going to approach them from a whole new outlook. It is going to be more fun for us, and fun for the crowd too."
After the DMB tour wraps, Tinsley plans on hitting the road in support of "True Reflections" with as many of his studio musicians as possible.
"We're just going to have fun -- we've never had a chance to play this music live before," says Tinsley. "And when you play songs live, they continue to grow and evolve and get stronger and better. So, I'm just looking forward to seeing how these songs are going to develop on the road."