Winter Winds (Sandy Denny)

  1. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    This is my interpretation of this classic Sandy Denny song (originally on the 1970 Fotheringay album, one of my favourite albums of all times), based on Maartin Allcock's transcription in his Sandy Denny songbook. I'm playing the instrumental riff on mandolin, and have overdubbed the melody on tenor guitar, along with some simple backing chords. To make it work as an instrumental, I have increased the tempo somewhat from the original (link).

    Mid-Missouri M-0W mandolin
    Vintage Viaten tenor guitar (x2)

  2. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    Enjoyed this song, Martin. It sounds difficult to sync all those tracks together.
  3. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Interesting treatment, Martin. As Ginny says, the syncing must have been an interesting exercise. Quite a haunting tune, even at your slightly increased tempo over the original.
  4. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Thanks, Ginny and John. I had recorded this several years ago in a much more layered arrangement, with an underlying click track. Listening back to that now, it sounds too stilted to me so I was looking for a more naturalistic performance. The only way I could think of making this work is to start with the underlying riff (originally on guitar) which provides the pulse throughout the original. Once I had that recorded on mandolin, the timing of the melody on top of that was fairly straightforward. It's not that complex an arrangement: only three tracks, and the strummed chords can probably be omitted as I only put them in to make the pulse a bit stronger.

    I didn't make a conscious decision to speed it up from the Fotheringay original. I just misremembered the original tempo and that was what came naturally on mandolin. After listening to Sandy and noticing the slower tempo I was considering re-recording but I suspect that my arrangement would drag if played slower.

  5. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Thanks for posting this Martin, nice playing. I read about her life, pretty tragic really. And being in a fatal car accident and having to be physically separated from her daughter, and then she ends it all in despair a week later. Very sad. The 60’s wasn’t an easy time.

    -but on to happy times, this is another reason why I play jigs a lot!
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