I am sure by now you have all heard that the Athens based artist known as Vic Chesnutt has passed. While I don’t pretend to have known him or even known his struggles, I know the world of music has lost a small part of it’s soul.
Chesnutt was fairly new to me (mostly since his North Star Deserter Album from a few years back) but I delved a bit deeper due to my first experience being a good one. The guy didn’t have the best singing voice, but it was the music, lyrics and subject matter with Vic Chesnutt that made the difference. His lyrics were soo real, and often a bit dark (well mostly dark) but I tend to have these leanings in my musical taste buds in the first place, so why not? Then “At The Cut” came out and I paused before listening and then when I finally took a deep breath and listened, it was as expected, great.
So he has passed, and again, I don’t know what was happening in his life, but if his music was even a small piece of it, you know that it had it’s dark moments. I guess each person has their own demons and Vic used music to try to purge some and I think the world is a better place for it. I certainly found myself a fan of him and his great music despite what may have be the catalyst for its creation. Many can’t stomach a lot of his stuff, but that is the joy of finding something that is of a certain taste, to those who have enjoyed Chesnutt’s albums, he is a delicacy. He’s tart, biting and he lingers on your musical palette once the sounds cease. I guess since he has passed, we can’t look forward to new musical moments, but we can look back and at a very minimum, enjoy some of the great recordings that he has made – I certainly will. If you are just starting to listen, West of Rome, North Star Deserter and Is The Actor Happy? are a good start.
I think the initial statement from his label says a lot of the people who knew him;
“In the few short years that we knew him personally, Vic transformed our sense of what true character, grace and determination are all about. Our grief is inexpressible and Vic’s absence unfathomable…”