Elly Wininger — Singer / Songwriter / Guitarist

2014 NY Blues Hall of Fame Inductee
2012 Tall City Blues Fest Performer/Workshops
2012 Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Conference Performer
2010 Official Showcase Selection /Folk Alliance Midwest Conference
2010 Songwriting Finalist / Susquehanna Music & Arts Festival
2008 Folk DJ.s Choice / Northeast Regional Folk Alliance
Honorable Mentions / International Songwriting Contest & Song of the Year

"A folk-blues legend." ...Stunning ...Sparkling" ..."Incredible picking"
"Pure energy, heart, and humor in one great folk performance."
"She's beyond category.... "The woman is a musical explosion."

Photo by Jayne Toohey
Before I could read or write I was transported by my parents' 78s: Vera Hall's "Wild Ox Moan;" Willie Johnson's "Dark Is the Night." I had no idea what or who I was listening to, but it stirred something in my soul that has been swirling ever since. Through the classical studies, violin, piano, Dalcroze Eurhythmics, I finally fixated on the guitar and my mother consented to lessons with a struggling musicology student at Columbia University, David Bromberg. Let there be light! I dove in to the blues and ragtime finger picking with all the enthusiasm of a high school student avoiding homework, which is what I was.

So down to The Village I went, all pointy glasses and braces, to play the basket houses and listen in the coffeehouses. There was Lightnin' Hopkins, Muddy Waters, Mississippi John Hurt, Dave Van Ronk, and the newcomers like my teacher, and John Hammond Jr., Artie Traum, Geoff Muldaur and so many others picking up from the source. 1974 found me on stage at the Philadelphia Folk Festival singing back up with Maria Muldaur and immersing myself in all the styles that made up the 'folk revival,' which of course is a continuum, a river of astonishing richness and deep beauty.

After years of performing the music I loved, my own experiences of raising a family inspired me to write songs. Collaborating with producer Steve Burgh and fellow singer songwriter Susan Cohen brought forth "Housewife from Hell," the CD named for the song that soon became a much requested favorite. Radio production and the influence of world music, especially West African, further fueled my blues laced repertoire and induced more songwriting.

The release of "Back Eddy Blues" in 2007 was a milestone of creativity. I produced the CD and wrote all but one song, and had my former teacher solo on the one cover. The CD was a critical and Folk Chart success. 2010 saw the release of "Part Time Paradise," a stripped down solo CD highlighting my work on acoustic guitar and my new love, slide guitar. And the blues just kept on calling. In 2012 I released "I Can't Help It," a compilation of both traditional and original blues. Another CD, "Little Red Wagon," is slated for release in 2016.

In 2014 I was inducted into the NY Blues Hall of Fame, joining ranks with many of my musical heroes. As I tour and host radio shows from my home base in Woodstock NY, I am always inspired by the beauty of the people and places around me. I have come to understand that the power of music comes from sharing, not just performing. The quality of connection that can be created with music is what keeps me going.