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Reel Time: Boyd Tinsley Talks New Project Crystal Garden

Rob Slater | February 06, 2018
Andrew Scott Blackstein

This article originally appeared in the January/February issue of Relix, prior to Boyd Tinsley announcing he would be taking time off from Dave Matthews Band.

On Jan. 25, 2016, Dave Matthews Band dropped their annual cross-country summer tour dates. But their announcement came with an important caveat: 2017 would be their first year completely o the road since they formed 25 years earlier.

There were several reasons for the break: The band members were eager to spend time with their families, take a breather from their usual grueling tour schedule and pursue a variety of other musical endeavors. For violinist Boyd Tinsley, that project is the rising Seattle-based Crystal Garden, which he took under his wing in 2015. He threw all his weight behind the rock outfit, sitting at the helm for their 2017 debut, Let the Rocks Cry Out, adding his trademark fiddle to the set of songs and recruiting DMB collaborator Stanley Jordan to appear on the LP. He also spent a good portion of the year on the road with the group, packing into small clubs and even throwing the occasional pop-up show.

Behind his patented dark sunglasses, Tinsley still finds comfort in the embrace of a song. The outfit now finds itself on the precipice of another album and more live dates (Tinsley says to expect a harder edge from the group.) “It’s a whole different part of my brain that’s working,” Tinsley says. “And once again, as a producer, a lot of things that I do in the studio are things that I learned from Dave Matthews Band. It’s what I’ve learned from other producers who’ve worked with us, and what I’ve learned from my playing and observations.”