Apple Core

Apple Core

by Kendl WinterKendl Winter


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Kendl Winter is an Arkansas-born, Olympia-based picker and songwriter who's active in numerous bands in the area and has a handful of solo albums under her belt as well. Her fourth, Apple Core, first appeared in early 2010 in a handmade limited run of 250 available on, but was picked up for reissue later in the year by local D.I.Y. mainstay K Records, making it her first release to see wider distribution. As that history suggests, Apple Core is a proudly homespun affair: it was recorded in a basement and on a boat in Puget Sound, and features spirited, skillful musicianship that nevertheless emphasizes feel over precision -- and it sounds every bit as warm and inviting as you would imagine. Roughly a third of the album is overtly bluegrass-based; the remainder is tuneful indie folk with more or less pronounced country influences. (Though even the least country-inflected number, the opening urban-bohemian biking ode "Made It Through the Yellow," features a sufficiently folksy pronunciation of "avant-garde" to let us know we needn't worry about any arty indie pretensions here.) It may be largely a one-woman show -- Winter's acoustic guitar and banjo work and her sweetly twangy vocals (and multi-tracked harmonies) form the album's core, sometimes augmented by slide guitar, piano, drums, and the occasional fiddle or horn section -- but there's a friendly, collective, front-porch vibe throughout. Winter's songwriting is sweet but not too sticky -- her conversational lyrics, on everyday love, life, and death, peppered with pastoral imagery and the occasional good-natured joke, don't always leave a strong impression, though she fares better on the topical "Dr. Tiller," a pointed pro-choice ballad documenting the 2009 murder of Wichita abortion provider George Tiller, and the title cut, a two-part fiddle tune
ursery rhyme pairing backyard lovesickness metaphors with gardening tips (and banana slug taunts). But she's got plenty of gently soaring melodies to make up for it, with the loping, low-key "Dance Gently on My Grave" and the farewell waltz "On to Me" offering two of the most memorable. All told, a winning introduction to an easily likable talent who will hopefully have plenty more to offer in the future.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/12/2010
Label: K. Records
UPC: 0789856122424
catalogNumber: 61224
Rank: 120552


  1. Made It Through the Yellow
  2. Dance Gently On My Grave
  3. Too Much Sugar In My Bellyache
  4. Dr. Tiller
  5. Cotton Skies
  6. I'm a Child
  7. Apple Core/Cocoon Body
  8. Sharp Stones Into the Sea
  9. Waiting For the Taker
  10. On To Me
  11. Bluebird to the Mountainside

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