‘I WRITE AND RECORD MUSIC FOR MY OWN PLEASURE AND AMUSEMENT’
Gary Winston Apple has been a high school teacher, a political candidate — he ran for the District 29 seat in the Missouri House in November — and an author. But music has long been a passion and interest. Back in the 1970s, the Kansas City native signed a deal with Monument Records, thanks to the song “Shoot ’Em Up, Cowboy,” which made some waves on the charts but lost its momentum when the label’s distribution deal was severed.
Apple will be among the 12 performers and bands being inducted Saturday into the Kansas Music Hall of Fame. Apple told The Star that the induction represents the excellence of the music community he continues to work in.
“Although I am solidly mediocre on keyboards and an adequate guitarist, I am primarily a singer/songwriter and producer,” he said by email. “As such, I have always depended on the accompaniment of talented musicians to really bring my songs to life. There are so many talented musicians here, both now and going back to the early days of my career, writing songs and then recording them has always been and continues to be a source of great happiness for me.”
Winston, who is working on his 15th studio album, said music has become primarily a hobby, so getting recognized for it is another bonus.
“To be perfectly honest, I write and record for my own pleasure and amusement. I am not capable of doing it any other way,” he said. “However, I am always pleased to find that someone else enjoys what I’ve created. I love knowing that people all around the world download my music and sometimes even pay for the privilege. Having my work recognized by the Kansas Music Hall of Fame is especially meaningful to me.”
Timothy Finn, The Star
Excerpt from review of "Alias Zimmerman! (Apple Sings Dylan)" -
To Apple's credit, he gives these 26 Dylan songs a vigorous workout and presents them as a collection to absorb song-by-song and as a whole. He’s no doppelganger and isn't trying to imitate Dylan. Rather, imagine Apple as a Zimmerman, or an Everyman with the talent and chutzpah to tackle some of the most famous landmarks in the American songbook.
While there is some faint semblance to Dylan’s master blueprint on a few tracks, Apple and his band take liberties and playfully apply a touch of reggae and ska, a soupçon of blues, country, exuberant classic rock, and piano bar gusto to their interpretations and bold arrangements.
Click on link above for full review.
Review of "Alias Zimmerman! (Apple Sings Dylan)" -
The album features full-band performances of 26 early Dylan songs. Many of the tracks are unique arrangements, the most notable is a Watchtower that incorporates some lyrics from Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands. I can't describe it any better than the description of the album on his website: "features Dylan classics (and less well-known tunes) from the mid-sixties, re-arranged, re-interpreted, and re-imagined, filtered through Winston's unique production style: wall of sound rock, with a variety of influences: country, blues, reggae, ska, and folk."
Review of "The First One's Free" -
The vocalist also handles keyboards, guitar and percussion on this self-composed set of uptempo pop tunes. Apple is backed by a 10 member band which features flute, pedal steel and violin in addition to the customary rock LP backup. The songs display catchy melodic hooks which should generate radio interest. Best cuts: "Shoot 'em Up, Cowboy," "Right Where She Wants Me," "Holdin' Onto Love."
Monument is moving into the pop field and Apple may be the artist to lead the way. After paying his dues for years in the Kansas City area, Apple has come up with a golden delicious label debut filled with crisp pop-rock tunes and tasty lyrics. While every track is strong, "Shoot 'em Up, Cowboy," a rocking call for gun control, and "Holdin' Onto Love," which melds a ballad with some stirring instrumentals, stand out. A special new album.
I truly believe, Diamonds are a boy's best friend, too, I feel no shame, In layin' back and living off you.