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Richard and Tova Tillinghast: Home




Richard and Tova Tillinghast, with banjo, guitar, and cello, create rootsy, rhythm driven music in the vein of John Prine, Mason Jennings, and Leonard Cohen. Their techniques merge fingerstyle guitar, alternative tunings, and classically tinged improvisational cello. The heart of their music lies in their original songs, sung by a “one-in-a-million voice” (Creative Loafing, SC) and lifted by occasional sweet harmonies.

Richard Tillinghast began playing the guitar and writing songs at age thirteen in red dirt South Carolina. He started traveling soon after, and from his first professional gig in London at the age of nineteen, he has brought his musicianship, humor, and philosophy to audiences across the US. Since settling in Washington State in 1999 he has performed at concert venues, festivals, and private parties throughout the Pacific Northwest. He has appeared on nationally syndicated radio shows such as “River City Folk” with Tom May, and has been invited to festivals as diverse as Colorado’s “Telluride Mt. Film Festival” to “The Bite of Seattle” to Arkansas’ “Ozark Folk Festival.” His music has been used in many compilation CDs, agriculture documentaries, kayaking videos, and multiple marketing clips. Currently five CDs are available for purchase: “Blue Tattoo,” (1995), “Men and Their Machines,” (1996), “Onehum,” (2005),  “Sweet By and By,” (2010), and “The Door Is Open,” (2015). Another CD, tentatively titled "Random Perfect Plan," is in the works.

Tillinghast began a musical partnership with cellist Tova Cochrane in 2005. Tova is classically trained and has performed with the Walla Walla Symphony, Whitman College Symphony, and the Columbia Gorge Sinfonietta. Rodger Nichols of The Dalles Chronicle (Oregon) writes, “Pairing a guitar and banjo playing singer-songwriter with a classically trained cellist is not an obvious choice, but it’s a musical marriage that works beautifully.”  The marriage part was correct, as the pair wed in 2011. Together, Richard and Tova have played concerts, wineries, weddings, and private events throughout the northwest. 

Richard performs solo, as a duo with Tova, and as part of the the band OneHum with drummer/collaborater Jason Russ. A new band, ONION HEART, appears to be taking shape in 2019.