Some festivals have bigger budgets. Some festivals have artists who have sold more records. Some festivals embrace the corporate agenda to a higher degree. However few festivals meet their objectives so acutely as Tingestock and even fewer can boast their home as a village hall. So the playing fields may reside in differing stratospheres for such comparisons, but if the absence of pretension is a desired experience then Tingewick Village Hall on the second Saturday in July was the place to be. For nearly five hours, and for a modest outlay, five artists driven by a goal of perfecting the interpretation of American roots music decorated the blank canvas of open minded attendees with the magnetic appeal of powerful song and exhilarating tunes.
While the songs from the new record such as ‘Banks of the Mississippi’, ‘Carousel’, ‘North Dakota Blues’ and ‘Diamonds and Gold’ are sealed in the vaults of excellence, it was listening to older tunes like ‘Memphis Train’, ‘Burgundy Wine’ and ‘Hey Julia’ which took the appreciation of Don to a greater level. This is a guy steeped in the country music song writing and performing tradition of Kristofferson, Nelson and Helm, with the added panache of being able to connect with audiences through an affable charm.
|Simon Stanley Ward|
|Knights of Mentis|
It was difficult to ever recall seeing a UK stage frequented by a nine piece folk and roots band especially one with each member playing a different instrument. Oxfordshire based nontet Knights of Mentis filled this gig gap with the second set on the Tingestock line-up and gave a rousing synchronised performance best enjoyed when the pace reached crescendo levels. From memory and left to right, we witnessed and heard: harmonica, double bass, banjo, dobra, acoustic guitar, drums, fiddle, mandolin and accordion. If you add in the accordion player occasionally switching to piano, double figures in instrumentation was reached and this band certainly made their mark, both visually and audibly while justifying their inclusion to the programme.
Opening this extensive evening of primed entertainment was Luke Tuchscherer, who was reverting back to solo status after assembling his band for last week’s Maverick Festival appearance. Since being acquainted with Luke’s work nearly a year ago, it has been a treat to indulge in his intrinsic song writing and this is set to continue with the follow up record that he is currently fundraising for. Luke has mastered the art of the perfectly balanced set and once again this surfaced as Tingestock got underway. So for forty minutes we enjoyed a couple of songs from his solo debut (‘Three Long Days’ and ‘One of Us’) and four lined up for the follow up album including the very poignant ‘Amanda Jane’ and ‘Jack Brown’. Throw in the popular singalong Steve Earle cover ‘I Ain’t Ever Satisfied’ and a similar enticing Whybirds (Luke’s other band) number ‘Before I Go Crazy’, and the atmosphere was simmering with an appetite for a comprehensive evening of finely judged music coated with a country, Americana and roots gloss.
All parties involved with the preparation and execution of Tingestock met the succinctly simple, yet so often misfiring, objective of presenting a package of highly crafted music designed to raise the awareness of acts dedicated to their cause and malleable only to the echoes of their integrity. Tingestock is pure, untainted and does everything the right way. Long may this micro festival continue to flourish.
Luke Tuchscherer Pledge Campaign
Luke Tuchscherer Pledge Campaign