Pete Seeger’s music remastered by Paul Winter at his Litchfield studio
Paul Winter enters his Litchfield barn that he uses as a recording studio, housing for his horses and storage from a full life of music-making, environmental activism and global curiosity.
“It’s more than 50 years of being interested in way too much,” says the saxophonist of his 40- by 70-foot open space main room with its set of Balinese gongs, Ugandan amadinda and towers of storage boxes that evoke the final scene in “Citizen Kane.” Above all, it’s a place where music is at home, especially for the music Winter, who has lived in the area for more than 40 years, makes, curates and loves.
On a recent overcast spring day, Winter recalls when legendary folk singer and social activist Pete Seeger in the late ’80s walked through the barn’s doors, took in the 30-foot ceiling and its view of the surrounding landscape and said, “Wow, what a great space to get some people together to do some singing.”
“And I said, ‘Yeah, and maybe some recording?,’” Winter says. It was the beginning of Winter’s musical quest that led to three recording sessions over seven years with the singer, which resulted in “Pete,” the recording that earned Seeger his first Grammy Award in 1997. It was also the first studio album Seeger had done in 17 years.
Winter, 76, who has earned seven Grammys over his 50-year-plus career, has remastered the original and is releasing the new version on June 17 on Winter’s Living Music label. The remastered “Pete” also includes a new DVD featuring three previously unreleased videos of Seeger in performance.