"Carl Tosten writes songs layered with warmth, intelligence, oblique humor, and astute observation of human nature. His dynamic vocals and rhythmic, percussive guitar style fill his live performances with intense energy, stories, and songs that captivate and inspire his audiences. One of the most unique talents of the day." —Bill Gonder, Gibson Montana
Carl Tosten has a passion for guitars that began when his father bought him his first guitar at age 11. From his early years in a small town in Eastern Washington, his playing centered around the electric guitar, performing with various groups and diverse styles ranging from country to rock to jazz. In the mid 1990’s, after years of eclectic listening and playing, he began to focus fully on the acoustic guitar, creating masterful acoustic fingerstyle compositions which combine alternate tunings, multiple capos, percussive body slaps and right-hand tapping. Known for his expressive and energetic guitar style, Tosten has been described as an “Acoustic One-Man Band.” His self-produced solo recordings combine his unique and expressive guitar style with his strong and soulful voice. He writes songs layered with warmth, intelligence, oblique humor and acute observation of human nature. His dynamic vocals and rhythmic, percussive guitar style fill his performances with intense energy, stories and music — weaving a web of writing, singing and playing that captivates and inspires his audiences. Carl has played with and or shared the stage with, Brent Mason, Stanley Jordan, Tuck & Patti, Lila Downs, Lee Ritenour, Seymour Duncan, Stu Hamm, Mike Stern, Rick Vito, Muriel Anderson, Nokie Edwards, Frank Vignola, Carl Verheyen, The California Guitar Trio, Daryl Steurmer and Doyle Dykes.
As an artist representative & traveling clinician for several major manufacturers — including Yamaha and Elixir Strings — Tosten has had the opportunity to perform and conduct workshops and product demonstrations throughout the US and in Europe.
Tosten began his solo career in 1999 with the release of his first CD “The Kindness of a Stranger,” which features 10 original acoustic guitar compositions, including 3 with vocal tracks. In 2001, his second CD, “A Road Less Traveled,” was released with 14 tracks of intricate acoustic fingerstyle guitar. “Tomorrows Perfect Plan,” Carl’s 3rd CD, was released in the spring 2004 featuring 12 tracks of original songs with guitar and vocals.
Carl's 4th original recording, American Dream, features his strong lyrics and introspective views on society, living, and love. The title track won 2nd place in the 2006 Woody Guthrie International Songwriting Competition. Carl's latest CD of original music — "Steps to Nowhere" — features an eclectic mix of melodic and percussive fingerstyle arrangements.
Carl’s music is available for licensing through Getty Images PUMP audio. His instrumental work is also featured on Guitar Masters Vol. 1 from Bohemian Productions, available on iTunes, as well as his recording of Woody Guthrie's "I Ain't Got No Home" which was included in Northwest Folklife's "Roots & Branches Vol. 3 - Live."