The Cowboy Junkies have just released what for me is one of their best albums in year “Demons – The Nomad Series Volume 2″ (see HERE) which is a section of Vic Chesnutt covers in tribute to their late friend and collaborator.
One of the great pleasures in music is the introduction to a new artist you haven’t experienced and as such I have now subsequently sought out and purchased some great songs by Vic.
Here a couple of my initial favourites.
An adoptee, Chesnutt was raised in Zebulon, Georgia, where he first started writing songs at the age of five.
At 18, a car accident left him partially paralyzed; in a December 1, 2009 interview with Terry Gross on her NPR show Fresh Air, he said he was “a quadriplegic from [his] neck down”, and although he had feeling and some movement in his body, he could not walk “functionally” and that, although he realized shortly afterward that he could still play guitar, he could only play simple chords.
After his recovery he left Zebulon and moved to Nashville, Tennessee; the poetry he read there (by Stevie Smith, Walt Whitman, Wallace Stevens, W. H. Auden, Stephen Crane, and Emily Dickinson) served to inspire and influence him.
When he was 13, Chesnutt declared that he was an atheist, a position that he maintained for the rest of his life.
On December 25, 2009, Chesnutt died from an overdose of muscle relaxants that had left him in a coma in an Athens hospital.
In the 2009 interview with Terry Gross, while discussing the song “Flirted with You All My Life”, he said, “You know, I’ve attempted suicide three or four times. It didn’t take.”
Chesnutt’s 1998 album The Salesman and Bernadette was recorded with alt-country group Lambchop as the backing band.
My favourite to date though is this lovely song from the album “Drunk”
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