Richard Tillinghast is a singer/songwriter who blends the sounds of roots Americana with a contemporary message of social responsibility and hope. His music is 'alive with passion, fresh energy, and joy' (Columbia Gorge Weekly, Oregon). His style is unique – a mixture of Appalachian mountain sounds, quiet spirituality, and the humor of a kayaker, horse wrangler, and world traveler.
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 Richard and Tova were married in 2011. Together, they have played concerts, festivals, and private events throughout the northwest.
Tillinghast was born a Louisiana cajun and raised a red-dirt, South Carolina poetry professor’s son. Moon shining, banjo picking, and James Dickey (author of Deliverance), were family friends. After college on a baseball scholarship, he took off for seven years of hitchhiking and motorcycling Europe, Africa, and the US. Recordings include “Blue Tattoo,” (1995), “Men and Their Machines,” (1996), “Onehum,” (2005 with Jason Russ), "Sweet By and By" (2009), and "The Door Is Open (2014). He has performed up and down the Columbia River Gorge, and has been invited to festivals from Arkansas (Ozark Folk), to North Carolina (Black Mountain Music), to Colorado (Telluride Mountain Film).
Southeastern music critic Dave Horner (Creative Loafing, SC) wrote, “He is a poet, he has traveled with his senses open and attuned and has distilled many thoughts, impressions, and feelings into a beautiful, restless volume of verse in song.”
“Soulful porch side rhythms.” (Hood River News).
“Bluesy acoustic slide guitar, mountain banjo, and a one-in-a-million voice.” (Creative Loafing, SC)
"From his first gig in London at age 19, Tillinghast has played hundreds of shows nationwide. Through the years, he has quietly built a reputation for warm, welcoming shows. His eclectic, heartfelt songs are often offset by hilarious comedic banter with the audience. His music is a deep, healing well. Bluesy acoustic slide guitar, mountain banjo, and a one-in-a-million voice.” - Edge Magazine, South Carolina