It’s about time we hear from Winn | Wally's World

A few weeks ago I was leaning on the Lee bar, as is one of my frequent, early evening proclivities, when a tall, lean dude parked himself on the stool beside me. In part because of his neatly-trimmed Vandyke beard, he reminded me of the late rock personality Frank Zappa. He asked if I was the guy from “Wally’s World,” then extended his hand.

“I’m Jimmy Winn,” he said.

I know...I’d never heard of him either.

Turns out he’s a local musician of some renown, who’s performed at several venues in our general region, including Seeders when that colorful dive still offered live music. He has also toured up and down the West Coast, as far south as Hollywood, and recently completed a bus swing through 12 states.

Anyway, I checked out his Facebook site and watched him sing a few tunes while fooling around with a guitar. (See Jimmywinnlive.) These dusty videos are recorded live and neither the sound nor the photography are especially professional; there’s a lot of background barroom commotion that interferes with your ability to concentrate on him.

Nevertheless, his genuine talent comes through. The songs are his own compositions, have appealing melodies and poetry that’s just vague enough to be interesting. A hook or two snagged my attention. I suppose you’d call him a rock-blues singer in the tradition of Springsteen and Vedder. He has a laid-back style with a clear, effortless voice that can produce that Cobain raspiness when he so desires.

The title of his last album, “It’s About Time,” can be interpreted at least three different ways. First, as the frustration of waiting a long while for something to occur; second, it may refer to the beat or rhythm of the music; and third, it might possibly refer to Einstein’s theories. Clever!

Winn is a product of Enumclaw and a grad of Enumclaw High School. During his wide-eyed, inquisitive, prepubescent years, he happened to cross paths with local musical legend John Reick (aka J. C.), who lived in Winn’s general neighborhood. One afternoon he wandered into J. C.’s garage during a jam session and was completely blown away –which is entirely understandable. The experience left such a deep, indelible impression, it set Wynn on a musical path for the rest of his life.

On March 15, he’ll be performing at the Chalet Theater as part of a show that promotes Mountain Link (click on Mountain-Link), an international mountaineer planning and climbing guide.

He gave me a CD of a few blues recordings. Backed by some excellent guitar work, his voice seems more mature and thick and he offers some really solid down-home, gut-level blues.

“On occasion,” he said, “just the right elements come together and everything works.”

It’s About Time.

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