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Vignettes: Brandon Tinkler

Brandon Tinkler at the Vine Street Patio at The Inn at DePauw

Friday May 11 @ 6:00

Copy by Donovan Wheeler

He walks past you with an unassuming demeanor.  The wavy black locks, the fringes of an oncoming beard, the rough-hewn sports-coat topping off the denim and Chuck Taylors beneath it.  Brandon Tinkler looks every bit the part of a humble post-modern literature professor in a small college town.  Then he picks up the six-string that’s been leaning on its stand for the last half-hour.  As you’ve gnawed on your burger, throwing glances at the empty stage, you imagined any number of people would step on that platform and own the thing.  You didn’t think it would be this guy.

Then he runs his pick over the strings, lays out a few test chords, and gets to work.  It’s beautiful work, in case you’re wondering.  Some people put up a decent acoustic front, but they’re really rockers…itching for a pedal-board and dash or two of reverb.  Brandon Tinkler was made for a coffee-house gig.  A natural fit like Batman in his sleek sports-car or James Bond with his shaken martini.

He belts out George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord.” Follows that with a Lennon tune.  With other singers, they’re clunky covers.  Forced.  Awkward.  With Tinkler, they’re symbiotic, in rhythm with vibe he’s casting.  Sure it’s a visual vibe (like that alliteration?)  You sit.  You listen.  The conversation beside you becomes ambient sound.  Eventually, it fades into white noise.

Sit down, tune him in and tune out the world.  It’s the best way to end another long week at the office.


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