Highway Hymn Blues 3:00 Song 3:20 Go ‘Way From My Window 1:30 (A traditional Appalachian ballad collected by the eminent folklorist John Jacob Niles.) The Woods East of Deland 2:58
Ballads And Blues : 1972 / Dancing Cat
Engineer : Doug Decker
Solo performer: George Winston (piano). Producers: John Fahey, Doug Decker, George Winston.
Recorded at United Recording, Los Angeles, California in November 1972 and June 1973.
Originally released on Takoma (R-9016) as PIANO SOLOS.
All songs written by George Winston except "Go 'Way From My Window" (traditional), "Brenda's Blues" (John Fahey) and "Theme For A Futuristic Movie" (Michael S. Roth).
George Winston's tranquil piano melodies practically defined the New Age genre in the early '80s. It may surprise some to hear this first collection, originally released almost a decade before his Windham Hill classics, where a gutsier mood prevails. Winston's distinctive precision is in evidence here, in service of complicated rags and jubilant stride piano tunes.
The album opens with a very moving medley dedicated to one of his former hometowns, Deland, Florida. The giddy first segment, "Highway Hymn Blues," evokes the spirit of Fats Waller, Earl Hines, and the open road. The mood shifts with the mournful "Song" followed by the traditional weeper "Go Way from my Window.
" The mixed emotions about loss and leaving explored in the first three songs resolve with the bittersweet "The Woods East of Deland," an uptempo number that echoes the optimism of the opener, with none of the bravado. Other standout tracks are the two rags, "Miles City Train" and, appropriately, "Rag," where astonishing technique meets real joy.
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