Road to Mountains
THE POLISHED SHORT VERSION BIO Blending acoustic guitar and smooth vocals, Greg Winkler performs a variety of original acoustic music from upbeat and humorous songs to passionate ballads. Like James Taylor and Mac Davis before him, Greg writes extraordinary songs about ordinary things. Greg has released two CDs, 'Raw Apples,' home grown in January of 2001 and the folk pop 'Road to Mountains' in December, 2002. He was also a finalist in the 2002 NSAI-Milwaukee Live Song Contest. Rhythmic strumming, fingerstyle arrangements, and compelling original melodies complement Greg's simple and powerful lyrics. His interactions with the audience make his performances engaging and entertaining, and you may hear a groaner or two as Greg laments the comedy career that he never had. Greg has lived on the outskirts of Edgerton for ten years and has performed publicly since 1997. He started his music career as a thirty-something social worker and has played at coffee houses, clubs, fairs, and festivals across south central Wisconsin. THE REST OF THE STORY In my heart, I have been a musician all my life. I started drum lessons in 4th grade using a round rubber pad about the size of my brother's head. The imagery was good, but you can only convince a 4th grader to play a rubber pad for so long before the novelty wears off. I think I lasted one week. The following year, I was introduced to the guitar, and I can't really remember how. I know that my neighbor, Sherry Something, took lessons and I started taking lessons from her teacher. I have pretty much blocked out the Mary Had a Little Lamb stage, but I have a vivid memory of fidgeting around a recliner in the family room of our Naperville, IL home, faced with the horrible triad of chords that comprised 'This Land is Your Land.' My mother was pretending to clean the room while her true purpose was to leash me to that chair until I spent at least 30 minutes trying to squish my fingers into an impossible A chord. This Land is a Dictatorship! I suppose the power struggle ended soon afterwards because that is my only memory of being forced to play the guitar. In fact, when I learned 'Top of the World' (Rainy Days was actually my favorite, but you can't have everything), I was scheduled to play and sing in front of my fellow guitar students and our parents. I came down with a mysterious flu and had to cancel, but no one tried to make me go puke on my peers. I guess I realized then that this was really up to me. Once that realization occurred, it only took me 26 years to actively pursue a career in music. We fast forward to today, January 12, 2003. I suppose there are few good interim stories I could relate about my first performance (UW Union Open Mike, 1980) and cutting my song-writing teeth on the front porch of my Broom Street house. Maybe some other time. So basically I spent my twenties writing songs in the closet, occasionally playing one for my wife, and yearning to be a real musician. Finally, in 1997, I asked the owner of a Janesville coffee shop if I could perform for tips on Saturday mornings. She readily agreed and offered me considerable support (and lots of coffee) as I stumbled through covers of Jimmy Buffet, Otis Redding, and Cat Stevens. I realized, rather soon, that my heart was not going to stop, that no one was going to laugh uncontrollably at my lack of talent, and that some people actually liked me.... I know, I was stunned too! And I also realized that I couldn't stop. I found some other places to play, cut a demo tape, put together some marketing materials, and in January of 2001, started selling a 9-song homegrown CD, Raw Apples, that I recorded on my computer. It ain't the most polished thing you've ever heard, but I became aware that the possibilities were endless. During 2002, I cut way back on performing while I was busy with a new management job that kept (and still keeps) me on my toes. I also worked with Duane Worden who recorded and produced my latest CD, Road to Mountains. It was released in January 2003, and with a new CD, I am looking forward to performing regularly in the future. I hope to see you there!