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True Reflections
     

True Reflections

by Boyd Tinsley
 

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On his first effort outside the confines of the Dave Matthews Band, violinist Boyd Tinsley doesn't stray too far from that combo's sound, largely maintaining the acoustic textures and breezy vibe. Tinsley doesn't go out of his way to make the disc a showcase for his instrument, either, preferring to concentrate on a mellow songcraft

Overview

On his first effort outside the confines of the Dave Matthews Band, violinist Boyd Tinsley doesn't stray too far from that combo's sound, largely maintaining the acoustic textures and breezy vibe. Tinsley doesn't go out of his way to make the disc a showcase for his instrument, either, preferring to concentrate on a mellow songcraft that -- especially on burnished, soul-tinged tunes such as "Show Me" and "It's Alright" -- evokes memories of such gently rootsy forebears as Pure Prairie League, Wet Willie, or (in their quieter moments) the Allman Brothers. He kicks things up a notch here and there, particularly on the album-closing title track, which builds from a spare intro to a rousing crescendo, led by the horns of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Matthews himself adds vocals to that cut, his trademark reediness a nice contrast to Tinsley's gruff-but-amiable baritone. True Reflections could do with a bit more variety -- a stripped-bare rendition of Neil Young's "Cinnamon Girl" provides a nice surprise near the halfway point -- but when it comes to setting a warm and affable groove, Tinsley's aim is most certainly true.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Hal Horowitz
Considering that, as of mid-2003, violinist Boyd Tinsley had been the first member of the Dave Mathews Band to release a solo album, True Reflections is a remarkably low-key affair. Ballads dominate the program and even when Matthews himself makes a cameo appearance, along with a very subdued Dirty Dozen Brass Band on the title track, the groove stays bubbling under. Yet that is precisely the appeal of Tinsley's debut. Although he remains predominantly in a somber tone, these songs, all but one original, make the most of his dusky, unpretentious voice and organic compositions. Surprisingly, there are few places to showcase his extensive violin skills in these tightly constructed tunes. Rather, he prefers to keep the few solos short and sweet. On first listen the consistent vibe might seem bland, but after a few plays the songs kick in with subtle, flowing melodies and lazy hypnotic rhythms. "Show Me" features a gorgeous, near angelic vocal accompaniment from Toshi Reagon that, along with the ambling tempo, adds a dreamlike quality that is shared by most of these tracks. Lyrics don't stray far from love-lost/love-found variety, but they perfectly fit the melancholy melodies. Buffalo Springfield seems to be an influence, supported by Tinsley's somber cover of Neil Young's "Cinnamon Girl," which is less Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere than Harvest. He treats the track to an unexpectedly atmospheric rearrangement -- unique and oddly satisfying -- similar to the way he approaches the rest of this engaging debut solo release. In fact, "What a Time for Love" sounds eerily like a lost Young B-side from his Comes a Time period. Not just for Dave Matthews fans, who might find it too pensive and muted, True Reflections is a warm, poignant disc that improves with every spin.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/17/2003
Label:
Rca
UPC:
0828765263320
catalogNumber:
52633

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Boyd Tinsley   Primary Artist,Violin,Vocals
Benjy King   Acoustic Guitar,Hammond Organ,Percussion,Wurlitzer
Doyle Bramhall   Background Vocals,Guitar,Soloist
Lisa Germano   Background Vocals
Corey Harris   Background Vocals,Slide Guitar
Dave Matthews   Background Vocals
Boots Ottestad   Background Vocals
Toshi Reagon   Background Vocals
Jeff Allen   Bass
David Pitch   Bass
Patrick Warren   Celeste,chamberlain,Hammond Organ,Keyboards,Wurlitzer
J.J. Johnson   Drums,Percussion
Espen Noreger   Drums
Chris Bruce   Guitar
Keith Mack   Guitar
Dirty Dozen Brass Band   Horn
Dave Palmer   Melodica,Piano,Pump Organ,Wurlitzer
Kevin Harris   Saxophone
Roger Lewis   Saxophone
Julius McKee   Sousaphone
Sammie Williams   Trombone
Efrem Towns   Trumpet

Technical Credits

Craig Street   Arranger,Producer
Thane Kerner   Art Direction
Stephen Harris   Engineer
S. "Husky" Hoskulds   Engineer
Brandon Mason   Engineer
Floyd Reitsman   Engineer
Oliver Strauss   Engineer
Espen Noreger   Producer

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