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Doug Wintch: Bio

My first guitar was almost a good little second-hand Stella.  Neither my folks nor I knew anything about guitars, but we knew we'd found a wooden box with strings, and I was thrilled to get my hands on it.  Basically it was a Sears Roebuck/catalog type steel string with painted on binding and a black to brown sunburst finish.  My mom signed me up for group guitar lessons; and the use of that battered old cheese slicer was part of the deal. Ha! I was 10 or 11 years old. I must’ve wanted to play pretty badly, because the action was ridiculously high, and it was strung with massive strings...rendering the thing impossible to fret...and even harder to get in tune.  I could creep my little sister out, just by showing her the deep grooved callouses the strings left in my fingertips! My pals Chris and Kevin Starr were signed up for lessons too.  And our mom’s took turns driving us up a dirt road in Sandy to an odd little abandoned church for our weekly class. 

 

I remember Mrs. Starr looking at us in the back seat through the rear view mirror saying, “I don’t know what I’ll do if you boys don’t practice hard and learn to be professionals on those guitars...”  Let me just state for the record, my mom didn’t say stuff like that...Ha! That summer we learned songs like Tom Dooley, Blowin’ in the Wind, Galveston, Wipeout, and Pipeline. And I've been a folky-surf-cowpoke ever since...  

 

I was probably 18 when I played my first "paying" gig. I was walking through the park with shoulder length hair, no shirt, and a guitar-when a dozen or so picnicking seniors waved me over to their table saying, “Hey chief...how about a tune?”  I started with a ditty called Prairie Song...the only thing I’d written at the time. They didn’t hate it. Then I hit ‘em with Blowin’ in the Wind...which they applauded. I finished up with John Prine’s Hello in There...which just about did 'em in! They took up a collection, and sent me on my way with 6 bucks...

 

I’ve played and sung a lot of places since then...dive bars, trendy bistros, ski resorts, grocery stores, sidewalks, parking lots, pastures, taxis, concert halls, festivals, benefits, weddings, funerals, parties, river trips, campfires, bbq joints, and the odd coffee house or two...you name it.  I’ve chosen a life of song...or maybe a life of song found me. I love playing solo, and I love playing with friends. Its still a great adventure to play a gig, especially new songs. My band is good enough that I can throw new tunes at 'em, and most folks wouldn’t know its our first run through ever...Ha! Okay boys, this is kind of a medium shuffle in the key of A. It goes like this...

 

Well, I've rambled on too long...as usual. If you’ve read this far...thank you. That’s my story...and I’m sticking to it. I hope you dig some of the tunes, they're the best I have to give. Cheers!

  

d.w. 

September 5, 2010

 

 

 

More Bio Stuff Written by David Eskelsen follows below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

            Shunning the label, "songwriter," as a tad pretentious, Doug Wintch describes himself as "a guy who makes up songs and plays guitar and harmonica." It's a bit like saying Ernest Hemingway was a newspaperman who pounded out some good stories. It's true, but not accurate. Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Doug rambled across much of the U.S., as a ski-bum; cook, carpenter, and yes, songwriter.

     Doug's interest in Bob Dylan's songs is evident, as are the influences of blues, pop and rock. Although his songs pay homage to these influences, they are not limited by them.

     Opening for such sterling performers as Karla Bonoff and John McCutcheon, Bill Staines and The Story, Doug has a strong regional following-especially at ski resort music venues in Grand Targhee, Park City and Snowbird (where he also teaches disabled skiers). .

     Many of Doug's songs are based on his own experiences, some of which are very small slices of life that planted the seed of a song. "I think of myself as a good listener," he said. "Sometimes a song will come from part of a conversation, or something I overhear. Though my friends know they can trust me, they would also tell you that nothing is safe-I take ideas from wherever and whenever they come."

     Working at the craft of "making up" songs for more than 15 years has enabled Doug to come up with some true gems. Of a recent concert:. Salt Lake City's Deseret News said:

     While Utah may have to wait for [John] McCutcheon to come

    around again, Utahns should be seeking out local appearances of Wintch on

    his "Lucky Old Guitar. " This understated performer 

    was disarmingly clever. The lyrics of his compositions bemoaned

   the trial of love-but with a fresh, humorous twist.

 

A long-time Salt Lake favorite, Doug's warm presence places him among people he'd still call his heroes: Jerry Jeff Walker, Taj Mahal and J.J. Cale.

Doug's wry look at life will touch you, his skill with a turn of phrase will delight you, and his rhythmic guitar style (and that old harmonica) will have you tapping your foot before you know it. His first album, Wooden Nickels, is in steady rotation at our house, fitting right in with John Gorka, Shawn Colvin, Dave Wilcox. Patty Larkin and Cosy Sheridan.

                                                                                                          -David Eskelsen, editor

                                                                                                        Intermountain Acoustic Musician 

                                                                                                                            March 1994


 

Partial list of performance venues and concert openers:

 

Doug has appeared on the bill with: Dave Mason, Karla Bonoff, Rory Block, Junior Brown, Dave Alvin, Patty Larkin, John McCutcheon, Bill Staines, Robert Earl Keen... 


Folk Utah, Kingsbury Hall, Salt Lake City, Utah


Utah Arts Festival, S.L.C. 


Park City Arts festival, Park City, Utah


Grand Targhee Ski Resort, Wyoming


I.AM.A. Folk Festival, Snowbird, Utah


Kerrville songwriters festival, Utah campfire, Kerrville, TX


Kerrville New Folk Finalist 2005


Uncle Calvins, Dallas, TX


Wildflower Festival, Richardson, TX


Deer Valley Folk & Bluegrass Fesitval

 

     Awards

 

Selected Best Songwriter in the Private Eye Weekly's '94 Utah Music Poll 

Selected Best Acoustic Guitar in the Private Eye Weekly's '95 Utah Music Poll

Selected Best Male Vocalist Salt Lake Area Music Awards 2000

Selected Favorite Male Singer-Songwriter by Inter-mountain Acoustic Music Association 2011

Selected Favorite Male Singer-Songwriter by Inter-mountain Acoustic Music Association 2014