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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 Badlands conveys 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).

Visit the homepage of EricTingstad.com and sample or purchase Badlands at his music store or find his albums at major online retail stores including Amazon.com, CDBaby and iTunes. Photos are courtesy Frank Blau and erictingstad.com.

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