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Andrew Winton – The Decompression Chamber

 

Based in Perth, Australia, this Dobro and lap steel specialist has obviously listened to some David Lindley, plenty of blues, and his neighbor (and former steel guitarist with Asleep At The Wheel), Lucky Oceans.

On his third CD, in addition to handling vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, Dobro and lap steel, drums and percussion, bass, and xylophone, he adds the 7-string “Wintonbeast.” The acoustic, Weissenborn-like instrument has a bass string on the bottom, with a fingerboard extension that continues past the end of the headstock. It was built by David Worthy, and looks as amazing as it sounds.

Cello augments two songs, and banjo adds pluck to the bluegrass instrumental “The Nullarbor Mountain Boys,” but every other instrument is Andrew.

After the bluesy “Number’s Down,” Winton shows off his complex rhythmic sense on “Ain’t Gonna Get It,” with a fine vocal assist from his wife, Karen. Though it would be tempting to release an album of nothing but hot licks, Winton actually reveals himself to be an excellent songwriter (“Too Hard Again” is sort of equal parts Dave Matthews and Michael Hedges, while “Moving On” has a Steely Dan feel), meaning this has all bases covered.

The only covers are a Them-tempoed version of Big Joe Williams’ “Baby Please Don’t Go,” the traditional “Black Is The Colour Of My True Love’s Hair,” and a stellar rendition of Skip James’ “Hard Time Killing Floor.”

This probably won’t be at your local Best Buy, so do a little internet searching. You’ll be glad you did. – DF



This article originally appeared in VG‘s July ’07 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.


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