A returning veteran disappears into a Midwest landscape of night trains, truck stops, and prairie fires. A former baseball star fades into the tattered memories of his dreams. These are the folks who inhabit the songs of Kurt Winikka. Growing up in the Southwest, raising a family in the Midwest, and finding his bearings as a singer/songwriter in New England, Kurt meticulously crafts engaging narratives informed by the breadth of his American experience, and conveys them with precise guitar work and a dulcet voice.
In his teens, at the same time Kurt was playing in a terrible (though extremely loud) garage band, he was opening his ears to a wide range of musical influences from Mahler to Mingus. Ultimately it was songwriters like Harry Chapin who held sway; writers who could weave an engaging narrative into a simple song and provide a deep connection to our human condition. The influence of writers such as Bill Morrissey, Richard Shindell and Guy Clark can be heard in his songwriting.
“Says the Rain” is Winikka’s second CD, co-produced with Grammy award winning producer Lloyd Maines in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts and Austin, Texas. A fortuitous meeting at the Kerrville Folk Festival in the Texas Hill Country led to the collaboration between the two. Joining Kurt on the recordings are Lloyd Maines, Pat Manske, Richard Bowden, Joel Guzman, Riley Osbourn, and Terri Hendrix. The collection of eleven original songs and one traditional song will be released in March 2013.