OREGON COAST – Tucked away on the windy shores of the Southern Oregon coast, the sleepy coastal towns that make up Coos and Curry Counties are home to a uniquely collaborative musical community.
Tim Bulster, the voice and mind behind “Tiller of the Moon” is one of many musicians that makes up this vibrant scene. Tiller of the Moon’s music features Tim’s folk style poetically inspired lyrics, with uplifting Americana arrangements.
“Tiller of the Moon is a project I started when I moved here. I quit my band in Chicago when I moved to Coos Bay.” Tim arrived on the scene mid-pandemic, and with gigs being few and far between, turned his focus on writing and recording music in his home.
Then the world began to open up again.
“Eventually I was able to corral enough musicians, who I got to know, to come join my band.” Tim said his path to finding his own band mates came from immersing himself in the community and being part of the collective collaboration.
One of those band mates is Ben Horton, who spends quite a bit of his time behind a drum kit in what he describes as the “best seat in the house.”
“I’ve played shows with maybe eight or nine bands this year.” Ben listed off Tiller of the Moon, Mondo Mundo, Escape Hatch, Allen Giardinelli and the Sun Machine, SWERV, and Tee Bird. “There’s definitely one in there that I’m forgetting, but that’s the gist of it.”
Tim describes this dynamic as being very unique to the coastal music scene.
“Before I moved here it seemed like everyone was in their own band, committed to their own band, and it was heresy to leave your band and go play with other people,” he explained.
What may be heresy elsewhere, is quite the opposite on the coast. Especially for musicians like Eric Feliciano bass player in Tiller of the Moon, and fronts his own band The Planet Of. Eric has been playing music since he was about 12.
“I have four projects that are steady. I play different roles in different bands.”
Eric said while the guitar was his first foray into musical exploration, his skills branch out to bass, drums, midi production and more.
“What really makes this area unique is there’s such a concentration of musicians… in such a small town it seems like every other person you meet here is a musician,” Eric explains.
To some, taking on so many projects can seem overwhelming. To others, it’s almost a challenge.
“The ideal number is infinite,” explains Jake Allegar, whose intricate guitar arrangements fill out Tiller of the Moon’s soulful Americana tunes.
“I recently left Ocean Boulevard, currently in Tiller of the Moon and Mondo Mundo, and then the jazz group I play with up in Florence is kind of a hodgepodge of people that step in and out.” Jake said these collaborations are all in the interest of sharing and expressing the musicality within himself.
Ben explains why the unique dynamic not only works, but also fosters a more positive environment. “I don’t feel like there’s any, like, rivalry,” he said. “I feel like the scene in our area is generally, everyone’s just trying to have a good time and enjoy each other’s company and music.”
A sentiment Tim echoes. “Everyone’s supporting each other, everyone’s trying to make each other’s band sound really good.”
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