The Windsor Player
This is meat and potatoes. This is dependable and delicious and every bit as American as the Super Bowl. The Windsor Player – the latest alt-supergroup created by Troy Stewart – has released an eponymous disc that is bigger than all of its components yet intimate and relevant.
From the melancholy strings of “Release” which kicks off this powerful collection – to the rolling melody and seamless instrumentals and playful faux-rap of “Just a Song” there is not a weak moment on this disc.
Sadly I am not nearly hip enough to know who Stewart is except that he is the touring guitarist for Snow Patrol. The names of the players and the bands that he has assembled reads like a who’s who of bands that linger on the fringes of mainstream – just safety within the reach of the hipsters, but not the radio station program directors.
I think – in this case – my ignorance fed my bliss because I had no preconceived notion of what I was getting into. What I was – and continue to – get into is a whip smart and impeccably recoded and produced collection of songs.
It isn’t enough that Stewart – and his army of co-conspirators – have blended their own unique perspectives into each bar – each measure of music – they had the good sense to get out of the way and let the song rule the day. I promise this is a disc that will serve as background when you are working/partying. It will also work as a clinic in songwriting and arranging.
As we begin the head-long careen into the holiday shopping season, every writer is putting together their “best of list” in hopes of boosting the holiday sales and having one more shot at influencing their readers.
The Windsor Player is my favorite release of the year. End of list.
Stand Out Tracks
Just a Song