A New Direction for Jake Winstrom?

Since his former band the Tenderhooks broke up in November, singer/songwriter Jake Winstrom has mostly been playing along with the Tim Lee 3. It made sense—Tim Lee's been one of Winstrom's biggest supporters, and ex-Tenderhooks drummer Matt Honkonen officially joined the Tim Lee 3 last winter. But Winstrom recently finished recording for an upcoming six-song EP that may signal a new direction for his solo career.

The as-yet-untitled disc, recorded at Rock Snob Recordings over two days in early July, includes contributions from Honkonen, violinist Bethany Hankins (of the Tennessee Shines house band), bassist Vince Illagan (of Jill Andrews' backing band), and multi-instrumentalist Greg Horne, who played guitar, keyboards, and mandolin. The idea sprang from Winstrom's recent performance with Hankins at a wedding; Winstrom describes the recordings as "rootsier" than his work with the Tenderhooks, but not quite twangy enough to be considered Americana.

"Knoxville has a wealth of great players, and I wanted to take advantage of that," Winstrom says. "I thought it would be a cool change of pace to get together with them and throw some songs at them. And besides, I've never played outside a more traditional rock lineup."

Winstrom says the full lineup for the EP probably won't be an ongoing project. "All of them are so busy," he says. "We did as much of Greg's stuff on Tuesday and Wednesday as we could because he's leaving to go to Connecticut to teach guitar camp for six weeks.... I hope to still play dates with the Tim Lee 3, and I might like to try a duo thing with Bethany like we did at the wedding. But mainly I'm concentrating on these recordings—see what I have next week when we sit down and listen to it."