Sunday, April 13, 2014

JESSE WINCHESTER, RIP





Jesse Winchester, a U.S.-born singer-songwriter, died of cancer on Friday. He was 69.




Winchester was born in Louisiana and raised around the U.S. South, but he didn't begin his music career in earnest until moving to Quebec in 1967. There, he began performing solo in coffee houses around Montreal and the Canadian East Coast.





Winchester was a protege of the Band's Robbie Robertson, who produced and played guitar on Winchester's self-titled debut album and brought Band-mate Levon Helm along to play drums and mandolin.




Winchester's second album, 1972's "Third Down, 110 to Go" featured tracks produced by Todd Rundgren.




He continued to release material at a steady clip until 1981's "Talk Memphis," after which he took a seven-year break from recording. That album, however, contained Winchester's biggest U.S. hit, "Say What."




Although large-scale mainstream success eluded Winchester, his songs were covered by an array of musicians including Elvis Costello, Anne Murray, Wynona Judd, Emmylou Harris, the Everly Brothers, Jimmy Buffett and Joan Baez.