When Boyd Tinsley of the Dave Matthews Band isn't on the road with the boys, the violinist has plenty of other pursuits, like his new project Crystal Garden.
"I've been doing outside projects outside since 2001, so it’s something I've done over the years and I’m always just thinking of creative things to do, or they present themselves to me," he says. "Making this band was one of those things."
So not only is Tinsley in the band, but he's also the curator and producer of it, using contacts to find, first, the frontman Michael Waspman in New York City through a friend of a crew member, before discovering Charlie Csontos and Matt Frewen through a friend based in Toronto. That was in August of 2015.
"They'd never played together," says Tinsley, who invited the crew to his studio in Charlottesville, Va. "I just put them in a room and said, "Go make some music. And they did."
He says the connection was instant. "When you're in conditions that are safe and relaxed and you let all of your vulnerability be exposed, from there beautiful things can happen."
The band's debut, And the Rocks Cry Out, is a downtempo rock album Tinsley says is very different from Crystal Garden's high-energy live show full of upbeat rockers, which you can suss out yourself on Sunday at the Pour House.
The collection was recorded at Tinsley's studio at his home, where the band gets its namesake. "When the guys got here — there's a creek and a mountain that is like my backyard — Charlie discovered there a bunch of crystals and quartz in the creek bed by my house," he says. "So he lined them up on a railing that leads to my studio, and it was amazing — the most powerful crystals I'd ever picked up before ... so now we call that area Crystal Garden, a place that was surrounded by crystals, so it's part of the magic of what happened there."
Tinsley says the project doesn't interfere with his DMB duties, and he even books Crystal Garden to perform late shows in the same cities where DMB makes stops. "It’s all about the music with both bands, and when you're playing with great musicians who can follow and go anywhere with the music and have the courage to go anywhere, it’s a lot of fun," Tinsley decides. "There is so much enjoyment."