Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Winston George - Any Direction (1969)

Wonderful singer/songwriter album (Ergo WG 70015 / 1969). Winston George Schell came from London/Ontario and made also another album called "City Wilderness" which I have never heard. I found some information about him in cyberspace written by a person called himself "Timeshredder":
"He played the southwestern Ontario folk circuit in the late 1960s and early 70s. His two albums never became best-sellers, but they maintained enough of a following to make the leap to CD, decades later, and long after he'd retired from regular stage performances. Any Direction, first released in 1969, featured fourteen of Winston George's original songs. It is the moodier and, in many people's opinion, stronger of the two records, marked by his distinct folk vocals and Bill Gunn's dramatic organ. There's a hint of period mysticism here, and psychedelia. The cover sports a black and white image, created by Gil Moll, that looks like a Rorschach blot running asymmetrical. The second album, 1976's City Wilderness, features more conventional folk. It's easily recognized by its cover, a Robert Crumb-influenced drawing of downtown London, Ontario with Win and various real-life city characters transformed into cartoon animals. Roger Baker, a friend of Win's, created the image. While he still played occasionally, he had always had to balance his music with his career as a high school teacher; he even co-authored texts which were used in Ontario for many years. City Wilderness would prove his final recorded contribution to folk music. His life as Win Schell, however, remained a dynamic one. Ergo Press, founded by Win and wife Linda in 1977, published fiction and non-fiction relating to southwestern Ontario. Its catalogue includes work by lesser-known names, and more widely-recognized local authors, such as James Reaney. Ergo also produced Souwesto Words, a CD of local writers reading their work. Win counted among his close friends local legend Roy McDonald. Ergo introduced Mcdonald's writing to a wider audience, and Win helped bring the eccentric writer's house-- which lacked many modern amenities-- into the modern era. Win also wrote, producing an impressive number of published articles, essays, poetry, and works of short fiction. I knew him first and foremost as Win Schell, mentor and friend. He died, suddenly and unexpectedly from an aneurysm, somewhere between Thursday, September 2 and Friday September 3, 2004."

- Any Direction
- A Secretary Song
- Alone With The Shadow
- Resignation
- Channel 19
- Danger U
- Long Time Leavin'
- Smokey Mountain Grey
- Great Waterfall
- Neither A Lender
- Reason Or Rhyme
- Nobody Died
- So Long Time Gone
- Mornin' Lookin' Free

Winston George (vcls, gtr, hrmnca) [AB]

[Additional Musicians]
Bill Pigram (drms, vcls, autoharp) [AB]
Rob Connor (lead gtr) [A]
Bill Gunn (organ) [A]
Ron Kilgour (bs) [A]
Rita Christie (vcls) [B]
Phil Blackler (lead gtr, hrmnca) [B]
Dave Atwood (sax) [B]
Larry Weir (bs) [B]

Band origin:
London (Ontario/Canada)

1. (A) Any Direction (Ergo WG 7001 S) 1969
2. (B) City Wilderness (Ergo WRC-190) 1976

Get it here (Artwork included / vinyl rip)

Listen to Any Direction


Anonymous said...

Thanks. Great, great folk psych album. Really a fantastic surprise for me.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this little gem. I have discovered a great disc. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

This blog is the best!!! Thanks for all music!!!

spacecholo/bibiru said...

Man, thank you so much for this really great album. Love your blog, Glad I ran into it.
Best regards, keep up the good work

freQazoidiac said...

Win (Schell) was a local Understated Legend here in the London Ontario canada area... The life he lived was one of no-frills and Much passion. The writeup in the blog , extracted from another online resource, is pretty accurate. He spent most of his adult life as revered Teacher (english) at a local High School.
I finally found his LP in this area in 2001, and then was in contact with Win till his passing. I still hang out with Roy MacDonald when I can at the local Chapters/Starbucks.... Roy still keeps the ERGO spirit alive, with Win's Wife and a handful of others. Along with the Nihlist spasm band, Win should be just as known...his lyrics are true passion and truth! I have had a few LP copies of this..and I downloaded this file..and comparing to the vinyl rips i made, this version available, is missing most of the bass, and is very thin and all trebly. Anyone know the source?? And the channels have been reversed. Just to let you all know..there is much better sound, if you get an original vinyl copy..($200.00) or just visit m' blog..i've had this available on my server for more than a few years now..and also ERGO still offers his two albums on CD. City Wilderness, his 2nd album..is just as great..some blue moments like Any direction, but some upbeat numbers, but all relevant to expanding your headspace. :D peas and rice!

Anonymous said...

Thank You for this

Winston Schell was my gr 13 English teacher when I attended high school in London. Always admired his knowledge about music, more importantly his opinion and guidance was sought.
I did not know that he had passed.
Mark him as one of those unforgettable teachers that one was lucky to have.

R from Toronto

Tom in Toronto said...

Winston Schell was my English teacher in high school in London, and I still have his album Any direction in my collection. He was definately one of those once in a lifetime teachers that make a positive impression on students. I still remember him fondly and I graduated in 1971.

Robert Presto said...

I don't usually leave comments, however, I must say this is the best folk/psych album I've ever heard. This album blows-my-mind every-time I hear it! This LP is simply amazing! Download this right now! Do not wait, DOWNLOAD THIS RIGHT NOW!

Anonymous said...

Awesome awesome album. enough said.

Now that other album 'city wilderness' climbs high up the want-to-listen-to list. any chance?

bobma117 said...

I stumbled across this blog when goggling Winston Schell, who was my high school English teacher in Wallaceburg in the mid-60s, So sorry to hear of his untimely death . . . he was an inspiration to me and actually lauhched me on a journalism and writing/media career that lasted over four decades. Had copies of both his albums but think they may have been lost in the Goodwill bin in downsizing late last year. May try to find in local thrift store, or if Ergo still active, through their site.