MUSIC AND ALBUMS
One True Story
Influenced by the ongoing releases of Neil Young and Elton John Archives, singer-songwriter Stephen Winston’s latest soulful, heartfelt and insightful, mostly retrospective sixth album One True Story showcases the artist’s early evolution as a songwriter.
The tracks on One True Story prove that even in his more primitive writing days, Winston always struck that balance as a storyteller and chronicler of life and its tragedies and injustices.
“Each of the songs on the album have a unique and distinct backstory. Re-visiting the songs for One True Story brought back all the memories of making music in my old studio, exploring my newfound craft, learning to write - and the elation that happened when a track came together. It was a magical time for me and, while it wasn’t my first intention for this album, I’m excited to have the chance to share this part of my musical evolution with an audience for the first time.”
Single - "All Quiet in the Bronx"
FROM THE ALBUM ONE TRUE STORY!
Winston penned the edgy yet haunting mid-tempo pop-rocker "All Quiet in the Bronx" based on his memory of an extraordinary post 9/11 New York Yankees game, when President Bush threw out the first pitch and Irish tenor Ronan Tynan sang "God Bless America." But he could easily be singing about our priorities now: "It's all about today, and what's the deal for me/It's all about the rush/for the cell phones, the instant messages. . .It's all about the fight and the left and the right/it's all about the victory at any price."
Single - "Maidens" (Unplugged)
Here's a live and unplugged video of the single "Maidens." The original single was included on the album UNRESOLVED. Beautiful women chasing eternal youth. A fool’s errand that only gets worse after each attempt.
This is the new album that I have been working on for the last few years. I have had some significant life changing experiences in that period including losing both my parents, being blessed with four grandchildren ( three premature) and another soul searching event which will change my life forever. Suffice to say, many of the songs are inspired by some of these events. I worked closely with Steve Cooper, a fantastic arranger and musician, on the orchestration for the album. Michael Pfeifer produced, engineered and played guitar on many of the tracks. As usual he was at the center of the creative process. I used my Colorado session musicians and some new talent as well. It is an eclectic mix of songs that range from pop ballads to Bluegrass/Country inspired melodies.
For the "Grayling" album I decided to try something completely different . On advice from a friend, I worked with Producer/Musician Joel Jaffe at Studio D in Sausalito CA and some of the best session players in the bay area for six months to create this album . It was a very rewarding experience to work with these talented musicians and the crew at Studio D. Falling Apart is about people’s battle with anxiety and Somebody’s Child is about the homeless. Trains in Utah is for my Uncle who was a great Railroad man in his time. The title of the album is Dan Fogelberg’s middle name. He has been a great inspiration to me over the years.
The Overlook Sessions
"Overlook Sessions" was recorded in Colorado and produced by Michael Pfeifer who would go on to produce all of my albums except Grayling. This was a very personal effort with songs including Lost Soul about my friend Tim Gilbert who perished in the Twin Towers on 9-11, a reflection on Ernest Hemingway’s last days with The Last Buccaneer and a tribute to my Aunt’s battle with cancer on Lessons. Three of the songs were performed with members of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra who came to my studio and recorded them all in one day. This was the highlight of the creative process for me, working with these incredibly talented musicians was terrifying and exciting to say the least.
"Gradient Nights" was recorded on my own in my studio in Rancho Santa Fe. I would record the demos and send them to Colorado where the session musicians would add their parts, then Michael and I would work the mixes until we got what we wanted. This process was not much fun, writing and playing by myself in the studio can be a grind. I much prefer working collaboratively in the studio with the musicians and the producer. A couple of songs I really like are I’ll Pass which is about washed up pop stars who crank out cover albums instead of writing new original material and First Dance, a waltz, written for my daughter Brooks wedding. I surprised her with the song when we did our father daughter dance. Sailor from Aswan was written on the Nile River in Egypt for our river boat captain and Third Chair was written for my son who is an excellent fly fisherman.
This collection of songs was written with a great friend I met my first year of college in 1976 in Idaho. Michael Nissen, aka Constanza Aroma, came to Colorado over a three year period from 2003 to 2006 to work on this music. He always showed up with great melodies but no lyrics. So, I gave him pen and paper and a bottle of Tequila and told him to get on with it. Some of them are a bit twisted but that is how his brain works at times. My favorite song is Our Town which is about a backwater small town and a slightly demented mayor. I also like Big Show which we wrote the day John Entwistle from the Who died in compromising circumstances in Las Vegas. This is one of the few tracks on which I have played drums, this instrument is better left to the experts. Aroma Slinger are stage names we created 42 years ago while drinking quarts of beer and listening to the Beatles White Album at ear shattering levels.