New month, new edition of Local Music Monday. This week DeBraun profiles Gail Wynters.
Gail Wynters is a native of Ashland, Kentucky who has made Lexington her home. Her father was a pastor and she grew up around music in church. Wynters says, singing is what she’s wanted to do her entire life.
“As long as I’ve had a memory I’ve been singing because I was born into a family of singers, the story goes, I was 18 months, a lady was holding me in the audience, my family was on the platform singing and I kept wiggling trying to get free and her hold kind of loosens enough for me to make my escape, climbed up on the platform, started singing every song they were singing even though, I knew all the melodies, but I’d make up those words, so I started scatting at a young age, but from that time on pretty much I was singing with my family.”
She moved from Kentucky to New York and has had a career full of experiences. She was signed to the Hickory record label and recorded with artists like Michael Brecker, Dr. John, Ron Carter and Richie Havens. Wynters says, no matter what she sings, it always comes from the heart.
“You know, you do what you gotta do in order to keep everything, that and commercials and all of that to keep things going and I would need to do it, even though I didn’t believe in the song, I would have to go deeply inside myself and come up with some sort of way I could connect to it, in order that I could sing it honestly, you’re there, no matter what it is and I think church prepares you for that, whether it’s R&B, whether it’s a little bit of Rock, whether it’s Jazz, whatever, it’s in there.”
Wynters for a brief time taught at the New School of Jazz in New York and also raised two sons who are musicians, Arte and Tripp Bratton. The advice she gives to up and coming musicians, be true to yourself.
“I think it’s, be you, be the original of what you want to do, I mean, you’ve got all the influences, yeah that’s true and you take all of that and you become, because if you’re sounding like everybody else, you won’t be noticed, you really gotta take all that in and become who you are meant to be musically.”
Gail Wynters performs with Tin Can Buddha and has her own solo group.