Winger takes solo flight

This has been the biggest challenge of my life, says singer/guitarist Michael Winger of his recently completed solo album, The Modern World. Familiar to local audiences as the former frontman for Dayroom, the popular Athens-based quartet, Winger says creating his solo project has given him a whole new perspective on music. The easy-going performer played all the instruments, engineered and mixed his own recordings and even took most of the pictures for the cover art. "A friend of mine called this my megalomaniac project," he says.Winger had envisioned the collection for several years, but playing close to 200 shows a year with Dayroom left little time. Immediately after the band broke up last February, Winger dedicated himself to writing and recording songs, only surfacing to try out the new material. "I took one week off to go to New York to play in the subways and another three weeks for a short tour with Jump, Little Children."

Finally ready for release, Winger unveils his album The Modern World at Eddie's Attic this weekend. He shares the bill with South Carolina singer/songwriter Daniele Howle, whom Winger says, "has taught me so much about solo performing."

Unlike his time with Dayroom, Winger plans on performing less and concentrating more on writing and recording. And having just returned from a trip to India, he also plans to continue traveling. "My mind was blown about every six seconds," he says of the trip. His travel journal and photos can be read at www.michaelwinger.com.

The culture shock of modern America hits Winger each time he returns home to Georgia. "Everything here is either neatly packaged or sprawled out in all directions. It just makes me feel restless and unfulfilled," he says. "I travel a lot to overcome that feeling, by either observing or escaping it. Then I write songs about it."

Michael Winger's CD release show is Fri., Sept. 15, at Eddie's Attic.