Ray: Why are the seasons so important to you?
George: Growing up in eastern Montana, there were four different ways of living. That’s just what I’m rooted in, that there are four ways to think of something.
The four ways of living there were so different from each other. The whole fall was getting ready for the long, cold winter. The spring was the relief from that. And summer’s different again, with school out and all that. So that’s just how I think of life — in terms of the four ways of living.
When I like a song, it reminds me of one of the seasons. That’s the foundation of why I play. I guess if I was an author I’d write books about the seasons, or if I was a painter I guess I’d do that, but it’s the foundation of all foundations. It’s the biggest, hugest influence. It’s God or whatever.
Ray: What led you to adopt the thematic approach you take with your albums?
George: Just the way it is. I would never think any other way. I kind of wonder why everybody else doesn’t do it that way, actually. I don’t regard myself as some sort of personality or trendsetter. I just play tunes.
Why am I playing? Why am I making a record? Well, I’m making a record because I’m inspired by Montana. I’m not making a record to glorify my name or see what I can do. If you were going to write a book, you just wouldn’t write a million stories, you’d ask what’s the main theme of the book. I just think of albums as why shouldn’t they be themes.
*Learn about George Winston and his many extraordinary recordings at www.GeorgeWinston.com. I did this interview for New Age Retailer magazine.