Gulf Coast Blues & Impressions: A Hurricane Relief Benefit

Gulf Coast Blues & Impressions: A Hurricane Relief Benefit

by George Winston


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Gulf Coast Blues & Impressions: A Hurricane Relief Benefit

Pastoral piano man George Winston is more readily associated with the wide open-spaces of his childhood Montana than the hustle-bustle of New Orleans, but he's nursed an admiration for the Crescent City's professors for over two decades. Doing his part to raise funds for the relief effort in the Katrina-ravaged Gulf, Winston's turned to the music of some of his heroes, including Dr. John, Henry Butler, James Booker, and of course, Professor Longhair, to whom he's penned a reverent "Blues for Fess, Beloved." The album's titular blues and impressions are borne out in the track listing; he's frontloaded the disc with a jaunty original theme, followed by faithful runs at songs by the above-mentioned keysmen, each rich in stride and boogie-woogie style. "Stevenson," a meditative and unresolved fragment, ushers in the Winston more familiar to fans, and two "Gulf Coast Lullabies" suggest sleep only by their humane pacing -- rather, the feeling is of a gathering strength, evoking the first tiny steps back to life after the unspeakable disaster. In New Orleans, that's just when the band strikes up a gospel number like "When the Saints Go Marching In," and that's what Winston does, too. His version sprawls over nearly 12 minutes, from brooding, stormy chords to puckish, then defiant syncopation. A sun shower of high notes is just one of the dynamic shifts that marks this a true set piece. Another unexpected treat with which to bookend his seasonal albums (remember his Doors tribute?), Gulf Coast Blues & Impressions adds a new ditty to the George Winston songbook: heart and soul.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/05/2006
Label: Rca Victor
UPC: 0828767516523
catalogNumber: 75165

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