The pandemic gave Yarmouth resident Tim Winchester a chance to record his fist studio album and is looking forward this summer to be able to share the music, which includes new and old songs, with live audiences again. Contributed / Tim Winchester

Indie-folk artist Tim Winchester never intended to release his first album during the pandemic, but it turns out, in a number of ways, the time was right.

“I definitely had putting out an album in my radar for a while,” said Winchester, a Yarmouth resident. “There were a lot of songs I had been collecting the last three to four years and been playing often. It was just a matter of timing and being able to do it. The pandemic put a stop to a lot of performances I had, so I had a lot more time.”

“The timing,” he added, “made sense. That was one good thing that came out of the pandemic.”

Not only did he have more time to work on his songs during the pandemic, Acadia Recording Company on Hanover Street in Portland was looking to start recording albums again after being shut down for more than six months and working through its backlog of projects.

“Into the Open,” by Tim Winchester includes 13 tracks, including songs written as tributes to his mother and grandfather. Contributed / Tim Winchester

“Into the Open,” released in January and recorded in late 2020 at Acadia Recording Company, features songs Winchester wrote and has performed in the area over the past years. It also includes “If Love is Blind,” “Mend the Break,” “Into the Open” and “Save One Breath,” which he has never performed live.

The album’s final track, “We’re So Lucky,” was a folk/Americana finalist in the 2019 Great American Songwriters Contest. Winchester wrote it in 2019 as a tribute to his grandfather and released a single of the song on July 29, 2019, his birthday, which he shares with his grandfather.

“Tim made a wonderful album,” said Jason Phelps, an engineer and co-owner of Acadia Recording Company who played bass on the album. “I was glad to be a part of it in such a big way and am really glad to see him get (his music) out there.”

Despite a tough year for the music industry, Acadia Recording Company worked on 32 albums and singles that were released in 2020, a slight drop from 40 in 2019.

Phelps said the studio had a busy January and February in 2020 before closing down because of the pandemic in March. Because of a backlog of projects, the studio “had a couple months of work that didn’t need artists to be on site.”

It was closed to artists until fall, but Phelps said during that time some artists were recording their music at home and sending it to Acadia to be mixed or edited. 

“We got some work that way and very slowly started coming back and working with artists we had worked with in the past,” Phelps said.

Winchester had never worked with Acadia Recording Company before, but knew of several artists who had had positive experiences there.

With a new album out, Winchester said he is excited to get back out performing live, something that he didn’t do between March and September due to the pandemic. Winchester, who plays about 30 shows a year, said 75% of the show he had booked for 2020 were canceled.

“Generally, when you release an album, you go out to perform to support that album,” he said. “When you can’t go out, it makes for a slower start and it take a little longer to get in people’s hands. That has been one of the challenges. You can’t be out there visible to people.”

That is about to change for Winchester, whose summer schedule is filling up quickly with outdoor shows.

This summer, he will be appearing every third Friday at the Barn at Smith Farm in Falmouth and has appearances booked at Flight Deck Brewery in Brunswick, the Andover Summer Concert Series in Andover and Music for Mavis at the Turner Public Library.

For more information or to purchase the album, visit timwinchester.com/home or timwinchester.bandcamp.com/album/into-the-open.

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