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Thread: Jesse Winchester, RIP

  1. #1
    Ultimate Carrie Fan Farawayhills's Avatar
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    Jesse Winchester, RIP

    Singer-Songwriter Jesse Winchester has passed away at 69, following recurring complications from oesophagal cancer (for which he had undergone apparently successful treatment a few years ago). A gentle and kindly man, he was much loved in the Roots community, having songs recorded by Emmylou Harris, Jerry Jeff Walker, George Strait, Reba McEntire, New Grass Revival, among many others. His songs often dealt with imagery of Southern life, well known examples being "Biloxi", "The Brand New Tennessee Waltz" and "Mississippi, You're On My Mind."

    Some dozen albums of his own never achieved Mainstream success, and he was additionally disadvantaged by being unable to tour in the USA for many years. This situation arose not simply for his unlawful refusal on principle to serve in the Vietnam war, but from his taking out Canadian citizenship, which excluded him from the terms of the original amnesty for war objectors. President Carter included him in a second amnesty, but Jesse did not return to the US until the early 2000s, taking up residence in Virginia. A tribute to him was staged last year, including performances by Lucinda Williams, Vince Gill, Jimmy Buffet and James Taylor. A posthumous album of new work, "A Reasonable Amount of Trouble" is due to appear this Summer.

    This is one of my favourite songs, which I still often play:


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  • #2
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    So sorry that he has passed away.

    It's great to hear Farawayhills talking about Mississippi, You're on My Mind.
    Why is it your favourite song by Jesse Winchester?
    Is it a country or folk song?
    Mr. Winchester sang it very well. I like the melody Oh oh, Mississippi you're on my mind
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  • #3
    Ultimate Carrie Fan Farawayhills's Avatar
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    It's always been one of my favourites, because of the atmospheric lyric, the way a series of word pictures build up the narrator's memories of his home in Mississippi, and the images of an oppressively hot Summer's day.

    Jesse was regarded as a Roots Country singer, and was nominated in the Country category at the Juno awards in Canada. Most of the artists who cut his songs were Country artists, in both the Mainstream and Roots sectors, though he did also have songs taken up by Folk artists, such as Joan Baez and Fairport Convention, and by artists from other genres, such as Wilson Pickett.

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    Carrie Guru rainbow1's Avatar
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    That's beautiful, Faraway....may he rest in peace.

    Tell us about Emmylou. I've always known of her, but not much about her.

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    I don't know Jesse, but may he rest in peace.

  • #6
    Ultimate Carrie Fan Farawayhills's Avatar
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    On Jesse Winchester I'd just like to add that the Cleveland Plain Dealer had a really nice way of describing him in their headline for his obituary:

    "A songwriter with a sweet Southern heart"

    I can't think of a better epitaph!

    ------

    As for Emmylou, Rainbow, she's probably regarded by many as a sort of "godmother" of Alternative Country.
    She first came to widespread notice as the singing partner of Gram Parsons - a remarkable, but sadly, short lived, artist who did a great deal to offer a more Roots and Rock influenced form of Country Music to fans who had reservations about the often rather sugary dominance of the Nashville Sound. "Return of the Grievous Angel" is a good example of his style.
    The fan expectations of a romantic relationship between Gram and Emmylou seem to have been exaggerated - but after his death, and the bizarre attempt by his road manager to burn his body at the Joshua Tree, Emmy recorded a moving elegy, "Boulder to Birmingham".
    She went on to a solo career fronting successive bands, The Hot Band, the Nash Ramblers, and Spyboy, and also collaborated with Linda and Dolly on the critically acclaimed traditionalist "Trio" albums.
    Emmylou also took risks and made dramatic stylistic changes in her career, notably with her "Wrecking Ball" album, which surprised many fans by its innovative influences.

    In many ways, Emmylou reminds me of Carrie. Although she did not have Carrie's remarkable vocal range, she showed a similar belief in putting the song first and committing herself to the style and meaning that she believed the song required. Also, she never believed that Country Music could be confined to one form, and her belief in combining Roots influences with a variety of innovative musical forms paved the way for what the female artists in the Mainstream today often aim to do.

    This example, from the 1970s, is a song with Oklahoma connections - which I think illustrates why Roots Country has always been a broader and evolving spectrum of style (even though some Mainstream fans tend to assume it must mean Traditional Country)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Farawayhills View Post
    On Jesse Winchester I'd just like to add that the Cleveland Plain Dealer had a really nice way of describing him in their headline for his obituary:

    "A songwriter with a sweet Southern heart"

    I can't think of a better epitaph!

    ------

    As for Emmylou, Rainbow, she's probably regarded by many as a sort of "godmother" of Alternative Country.
    She first came to widespread notice as the singing partner of Gram Parsons - a remarkable, but sadly, short lived, artist who did a great deal to offer a more Roots and Rock influenced form of Country Music to fans who had reservations about the often rather sugary dominance of the Nashville Sound. "Return of the Grievous Angel" is a good example of his style.
    The fan expectations of a romantic relationship between Gram and Emmylou seem to have been exaggerated - but after his death, and the bizarre attempt by his road manager to burn his body at the Joshua Tree, Emmy recorded a moving elegy, "Boulder to Birmingham".
    She went on to a solo career fronting successive bands, The Hot Band, the Nash Ramblers, and Spyboy, and also collaborated with Linda and Dolly on the critically acclaimed traditionalist "Trio" albums.
    Emmylou also took risks and made dramatic stylistic changes in her career, notably with her "Wrecking Ball" album, which surprised many fans by its innovative influences.

    In many ways, Emmylou reminds me of Carrie. Although she did not have Carrie's remarkable vocal range, she showed a similar belief in putting the song first and committing herself to the style and meaning that she believed the song required. Also, she never believed that Country Music could be confined to one form, and her belief in combining Roots influences with a variety of innovative musical forms paved the way for what the female artists in the Mainstream today often aim to do.

    This example, from the 1970s, is a song with Oklahoma connections - which I think illustrates why Roots Country has always been a broader and evolving spectrum of style (even though some Mainstream fans tend to assume it must mean Traditional Country)

    I wish Carrie would put a song like this on her album. It doesn't have to be a single, just one of those gems she always leaves as an album cut but at least it would be there for fans to enjoy.
    Farawayhills likes this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Farawayhills View Post
    It's always been one of my favourites, because of the atmospheric lyric, the way a series of word pictures build up the narrator's memories of his home in Mississippi, and the images of an oppressively hot Summer's day.

    Jesse was regarded as a Roots Country singer, and was nominated in the Country category at the Juno awards in Canada. Most of the artists who cut his songs were Country artists, in both the Mainstream and Roots sectors, though he did also have songs taken up by Folk artists, such as Joan Baez and Fairport Convention, and by artists from other genres, such as Wilson Pickett.
    Most country artists today don't release slow songs like Mississippi You're on My Mind. Gonna miss the country songs of the 1970s.

    It'll be so good if you don't mind showing us some country songs which might share the same characteristics as this Jesse Winchester song

  • #9
    Ultimate Carrie Fan Farawayhills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IdolCarrieAlwaysShines View Post
    Most country artists today don't release slow songs like Mississippi You're on My Mind. Gonna miss the country songs of the 1970s.
    Around 2005, the "Nashville Star" winner, Erika Jo, released a slower song, which you may like. It was a revival of a song originally by Jessi Colter, "I'm Not Lisa"

    (Erika Jo hopes to be self-releasing a new album this year, by the way)



  • #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farawayhills View Post
    Around 2005, the "Nashville Star" winner, Erika Jo, released a slower song, which you may like. It was a revival of a song originally by Jessi Colter, "I'm Not Lisa"

    (Erika Jo hopes to be self-releasing a new album this year, by the way)
    Thank you so much.

    Both I'm Not Lisa and Mississippi, You're on My Mind are very good. I may prefer the Jesse Winchester song.

    Did Erika release an album in 2005?

  • #11
    Junior Carrie Follower CUnderwoodSparkles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farawayhills View Post
    Singer-Songwriter Jesse Winchester has passed away at 69, following recurring complications from oesophagal cancer (for which he had undergone apparently successful treatment a few years ago). A gentle and kindly man, he was much loved in the Roots community, having songs recorded by Emmylou Harris, Jerry Jeff Walker, George Strait, Reba McEntire, New Grass Revival, among many others. His songs often dealt with imagery of Southern life, well known examples being "Biloxi", "The Brand New Tennessee Waltz" and "Mississippi, You're On My Mind."

    Some dozen albums of his own never achieved Mainstream success, and he was additionally disadvantaged by being unable to tour in the USA for many years. This situation arose not simply for his unlawful refusal on principle to serve in the Vietnam war, but from his taking out Canadian citizenship, which excluded him from the terms of the original amnesty for war objectors. President Carter included him in a second amnesty, but Jesse did not return to the US until the early 2000s, taking up residence in Virginia. A tribute to him was staged last year, including performances by Lucinda Williams, Vince Gill, Jimmy Buffet and James Taylor. A posthumous album of new work, "A Reasonable Amount of Trouble" is due to appear this Summer.

    This is one of my favourite songs, which I still often play:


    Thanks for sharing. I like the song

  • #12
    Junior Carrie Follower CUnderwoodSparkles's Avatar
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    These are the other versions of Jesse Winchester song "Mississippi You're On My Mind" I have found: the soulful live version by Jesse Winchester, the version by Stoney Edwards which is possibly the closest to mainstream country, and the country rock version by Jerry Jeff Walker
    They all sound great to me

    This video is the live version


  • #13
    Ultimate Carrie Fan Farawayhills's Avatar
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    It's interesting that you should mention Stoney Edwards - one of Oklahoma's largely forgotten trail-blazers. African-Americans made a very significant (but largely hidden) contribution to the development of early Country Music, and Jimmie Rogers, A P Carter, Bill Monroe and Hank Williams all had Black, or mixed-race, co-workers who taught or influenced their musical style. Later Black singers with recording contracts tended to concentrate on soulful, or Pop-influenced ballads. But Stoney, who came from Seminole County, was arguably the first singer of African-American descent to have a significant solo career in Mainstream Country in the more "traditional" South-Western style of Lefty Frizzell and Merle Haggard. In one of his songs, "Hag Sang Me A Song", he mentions singing in Muskogee.

    This is one of his most poignant late songs - which was written for him by the great Chip Taylor (who wrote "Angel of the Morning" and "The Real Thing"), who, like Bob Wills, was an admirer of Stoney.
    (Advisory - the chorus contains the "N" word - which made some radio stations refuse to play it - but that was Stoney's own choice, seeing it as a "Pride" song)

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