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Aimsel Ponti

Aimsel Ponti is a Content Producer at MaineToday.com and a music writer for MaineToday.com and the Portland Press Herald. She has been obsessed with - and inspired by - music since she listened to Monkees records borrowed from the town library when she was six years old. She bought her first Rolling Stones record at a flea market when she was in 7th grade and discovered David Bowie a year later. She's a HUGE fan of the local music scene and covers it along with national musical happenings in her "Face the Music" column and with artist interviews that appear in print in the Portland Press Herald and online at Mainetoday.com. You'll also find her out and about absorbing live music like a sponge and roaming around local record shops and flea markets. Aimsel is also the host of Music from 207 on 98.9 WCLZ and appears monthly on the News Center Maine TV show “207” to talk about...music of course.

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Posted: October 19, 2015

Pianist George Winston in Ogunquit on Wednesday

Written by: Aimsel Ponti

Everyone needs a little George Winston in their life. Regardless of what kind of music you’re into, I’m convinced that the calming “rural folk piano” of Mr. Winston can stop a temper tantrum right in its tracks.

He started releasing music in 1972 and has gone on to sell millions of records.

I’ll level with you, I am not an authority on all things George. But here’s the good news, his website’s Q&A section has EVERYTHING you could possibly want to know about his influences, career, albums and such.

But here’s what I can tell you, and why I felt the need to blog about him. In 1982, Winston released an album called “December.” It didn’t find its way into my ears until about the early 90s but it will absolutely never leave.

George Winston's "December"

You could argue that technically it’s a “Christmas” album but I delve into every year come early October and don’t set it aside until at least the end of January.

“December” is 12 tracks long and it’s a blend of originals and his interpretations of works by Bach, Pachelbel, jazz musician Alfred Burt, dulcimer player and composer Malcolm Dalglish and  composer John Jacob Niles among a few others. Let’s listen together to some of “December” then you contemplate heading to Ogunquit for his Wednesday night performance. To be clear, that show will feature a range of works from Winston’s repertoire but I’m thinking it’s certainly cold enough for him to slip in a piece or two from “December.”

“December” opens with the Winston original “Thanksgiving” which makes me want to cry a thousand rivers every time I hear it. I can’t even explain why.

Does it elicit a similar response in you?

Next is the track “Jesus, Jesus, Rest Your Head” (John Jacob Niles) and although I’m not a religious person, this one gets me too.

Right?

This brings us to “Joy” (David Qualey from J.S. Bach)

Lively. Stirring. Gorgeous.

You’ll recognize parts of  breathtaking “Carol of the Bells”

I can’t even…

Three Winston originals are strung together on “December” in the form of “Night, Part One: Snow,” “Night, Part Two: Midnight” and “Night, Part Three: Minstrels.”

Hearing these pieces is like being on the receiving end of a burst of light, passion, peace and love directly to my heart.

Here they are all together:

And you just haven’t lived until you’ve heard Pachelbel’s famous piece Winston style on “Variation on The Kanon”

“December” closes out with the Winston original composition simply called “Peace”

Anything that’s left of me is done in by this one.

So…

Still with me?

Would you like to see George Winston perform live?

He’ll be at Jonathan’s in Ogunquit at 8 p.m. on Wednesday night (Oct. 21)

Tickets are $42.50 and they’re going fast.

So dry your eyes, get a hold of yourself and snag a pair because it’s headed for a sell-out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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