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Doug Wintch | Checkin' In

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Folk: Folk Pop Folk: Modern Folk Moods: Type: Lyrical
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Checkin' In

by Doug Wintch

Where the Wasatch Mountains meet the Rio Grande. Tales of a Lone Ranger... a Rude Girl...Jackhammer Love... a Utah Ski Legend...Thumb Smashing Carpenters...a girl with French Roast Eyes... Bluebirds, Cactus Blossoms...and a drop-in visit from The King..
Genre: Folk: Folk Pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. On the Street Again
3:14 album only
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2. Bifocal Boy
2:58 album only
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3. Lone Ranger
4:47 album only
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4. Golden Palomino
3:51 album only
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5. Jackhammer Love
2:05 album only
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6. Rude Girl
3:46 album only
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7. Love Me Tender Beauty Shop
3:36 album only
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8. An Ode to Alf Engen
4:26 album only
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9. Old Lightnin'
4:22 album only
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10. Something to Match Your Eyes
3:15 album only
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11. Yellow Blossom
5:20 album only

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Checkin' In: Check It Out

Don't be fooled by the intent fix on the unshaven face looking out the window of Doug Wintch's new release, "Checkin' In." Granted, the work rings with sensitive treaments including tributes to his mother, Alf Engen, and a mysterious Lone ranger--even The King. But alongside his tender and insightful moments there's a rollicking ride. Flip the disc over and you see Wintch (with a grin breaking through)and his Martin Dreadnought.

The sound on "Checkin' In," engineered in Kingsland, Texas, carries the influence of it's locale--slide guitar, fiddle, mandolin and accorion are added to the mix. Friendships begun around a campfie at Kerrville transformed into a sharing of musical talents on CDs. Doug played harmonica and guitar on Mary and Bill Muse's record, and they contributed heartily to "Checkin'In." A little extra twang on this one, Wintch rides bareback on Golden Palominos to the hoofbeats of Paul Pearcy's drums.

As convincing as this "gallopin' free" Southern boy persona is, the careful listener will be struck by the performing artist's literary sophistication. Perhaps his skilled use of metaphor and vivid language is Wintch's most unique talent. We see ski legend Alf Engen as "a symphony on a pair of skis...hurtling through the blue...a million cameos in the alpenglow." His entreaty to his departed mother to "send some balsam on the wind...and a sunset to soften" the heart of his lost "good woman." Frequent references to the coffee counter such as the stare from the "French Roast eyes" that are a "bottomless cup." I don't want to put to fine a point on it, but his phallic images are rather driving in "Jackhammer Love" and "Old Lightnin'." And inside the "Love Me Tender Beauty Shop," everybody gets "a little lathered up."

Abundant beguilling enigmas are tucked into each song. Queried about these, Doug's only reply is "Well good! There's supposed to be." I coached one reference
from him, learning that the inspiration for "Golden Palomino" came from the famous painting of a sleeping cowboy, a woman above him in the clouds on her horse. Still one wonders just who was being put to rest by his pals, or just what was he looking for in "Something to Match Your Eyes," and just who was that masked person?

Musically the work ranges from a ballad style with nice guitar riffs in "The Lone Ranger," with it's lyrical tributes and Texan flair, to the folk rock of "Jackhammer Love." Wintch's keen insights, vulnerability and sensitive lyrics intermingled with bawdy, stinging innuendo combine to give this release an unusual richness and diversity--to a man far advanced from the original "three-chord renegade."

Review by Lin Ostler
Intermountain Acoustic Musician, September 1998



The Top 25 Local CDs of 1998
Doug Wintch, "Checkin' In" (LuDella Records)

This has no bearing on the quality of the album, but Doug Wintch looks exactly like some ungodly spawn of Christian Slater and Bruce Willis. Really, it's an uncanny resemblance. That aside, this album is very nice. Totally smooth, bluesy country music; never too honky, never too tonky. "Jackhammer Love" sounds like something Mark Knopfler might have penned back in his prime--these are pro guitar licks. The songs are intelligently written, too--you'll find yourself listening to the stories as well as the music. Doug Wintch is another one of those locals who has a legitimate shot at the big time.

Review by Bill Frost, Ben Fulton, and Eric Jacobsen
City Weekly, Annual music issue, August 27, 1998



CD Reviews
DOUG WINTCH, "Checkin' In" (LuDella Records)

Right from the start, Doug Wintch lays it on the line:
"I bought another round like the first
She sobered up on me, quicker than a Mormon girl
She jumped back from the brink
I toppled over like a frou frou drink"
from "On the Street Again."

Wintch travelled to Kingsland Texas, to record "Checkin'In." Whatever influenced him there, the result is astounding--or maybe it is just the rare moment of the artist moving to the next level.

In the past, though Wintch was always entertaining and witty, he seemed to be holding something back.
"Checkin' In" sparkles. It reveals a stylistic Western songwriter with maturity and something important to say.

Review by Martin Renzhofer
The Salt Lake Tribune September 6, 1998



Local Limelight
Doug Wintch, "Checkin' In" (LuDella Records)

Just as Megan Peters did for her "About Time" CD, Doug Wintch traveled to Kingsland Texas to record, and Larry Nye, the same man Megan chose to produce her record produced Wintch's. There on fiddle and mandolin is Champ Hood. I believe the last time Champ Hood visited Utah he was playing guitar for Lyle Lovett. He's also done some time with Jimmie Dale Gilmore and a host of others I can't recall. How did Wintch get him? "I just called him and asked." So "Checkin' In" is more than another local folk record from another singer/songwriter.

Wintch has practiced his craft for some years and is a pro by now. He weaves his double entendres through a shave 'n' a haircut, a coin flip, poor eyesight, and a hammer. He sings about an icon of Utah skiing, "An Ode to Alf Engen," he makes Elvis worship a country-western dream, "Love Me Tender Beauty Shop," and he sings about the Wild West-"Lone Ranger" and "Golden Palomino." Boyd's coffee is better than latte in Wintch's world. He'd rather work construction than in an office and the last tune, the title tune, is dedicated to his mother.

Wintch can turn a phrase better than most, and his backing cast of Texas musicians doesn't hurt. There's not enough twang or hippie to draw the attention of the altern-country crowd; too much to fit Wintch into the pages of SING OUT! and with "Checkin' In" he gives the males hope...

Review by William Athey
The Event June 18, 1998 - July 1, 1998

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