Before Montana-born pianist George Winston became one of the world's foremost New Age recording artists, he was an avid fan of New Orleans-style R&B piano. Winston comes to the aid of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast with a new tribute album.
After seeing his beloved Gulf Coast in ruins, George Winston immediately went to work to lend his support. He donated all of the proceeds from two months of concerts in 2005 to organizations involved in the rebuilding effort, and he's donating 100 percent of his artist royalties from the sale of his new album "Gulf Coast Blues and Impressions" to the same cause. In addition, his label, RCA Records, will be donating most of its net profits from the CD to benefit musicians in the New Orleans area.
Reflecting on the melancholy felt in the aftermath of the Hurricane Katrina, George Winston composed "Gulf Coast Lullaby."
One of Winston's biggest influences was the legendary New Orleans blues musician Henry Roeland Boyd, better known as Professor Longhair. Considered the founder of the New Orleans piano scene in the 1940s, Professor Longhair was the inspiration for the eulogistic track "Blues For Fess, Beloved."
"Blues For Fess" will also appear on George Winston's next solo album, "Beloved - The Music of Professor Longhair."
In addition to six original compositions, "Gulf Coast Blues and Impressions" features Winston's epic arrangement of "When The Saints Go Marching In," as well as music written by three other New Orleans piano greats, James Booker, Henry Butler and Doctor John.
George Winston is currently booked to perform across the U.S. through May 2007, including a stop in one of the Gulf Coast's hardest hit regions, Gulfport, Mississippi.