Vic Chesnutt.

On 27 December, 2009 by slowcoustic

Vic Chesnutt - At The Cut Cover Slice

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…”

Please consider listening, purchasing, donating, and just thinking of Vic for a moment during this next while.

“Rustic City Fathers” from North Star Deserter
“Chain” from At The Cut
“Dick Cheney” from Skitter On Take-Off

~Smansmith

One Response to “Vic Chesnutt.”

  • He was a good man. Full of sharp & well executed wit. I won’t pretend to be a fan of all his stuff, but his last 2 albums, released this year, were excellent.

    I think my first encounter with him was his cover version of REM’s “Shiny Happy People” on the REM tribute album SURPRISE YOUR PIG released back in the early ’90s. I really liked its awkward slant, given its primarily an in your face HAPPY upbeat ditty, & it (& the sleevenotes re: Stipe ‘discovering’ him & producing his first albums) was enough for me to investigate further.

    It was only recently I discovered he was Liz Durrett’s uncle, having prioduced her first two & guest appeared on a few recordings. Their duet of “Somewhere” from Westside Story is quite lovely.

    Very sad, all told, but from what I’ve read over the years his was a troubled soul & this wasn’t his first attenpt at gaining some peace. Now he has it.

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