Saturday, December 26, 2009

Vic Chesnutt, 1964-2009


I freaked out the last time I saw Vic Chesnutt perform. It wasn't Chesnutt who had me loopy. I'd seen him before and there was no reason to think I wouldn't see him again.

The reclusive Van Dyke Parks was sitting in with Chesnutt to promote Ghetto Bells. Few in the SXSW crowd at the Austin brewpub in 2005 shared my hopelessly geeky enthusiasm. I'm rarely inclined to shush people, but I couldn't help myself that night. "Hey!" I scolded jerks who were talking over the underground legend. "That's Van Dyke Parks! The Van Dyke Parks!" My mania was met with blank stares. I suppose fans of cult artists should be accustomed to that indifferent response.

The brief "Blanket Over the Head" is from The Salesman and Bernadette, Chesnutt's excellent 1998 collaboration with Lambchop.

Chesnutt died Christmas Day.

Tim Finn's year-end recap in the Star alerted me to the great deal being offered by The Record Machine. All five of the label's 2009 releases- Perhapsy, Max Justus, Capybara, Sam Billen and The Parade Schedule- are available as a $15 download.

Kansas City Click: The Elders, the most popular act in Kansas City not named Tech N9ne, perform at the Beaumont on Saturday.

Coyote Bill plays blues at Knuckleheads on Sunday.


JeremyA said...

Holy shit you got to see Van Dyke Parks at SXSW? So jealous.

Happy In Bag said...

Try telling that to everyone who was yacking it up at the brewery that night, JeremyA...

bgo said...

Check out the Dylan piece (Woody's Do-Re-Mi)from The History Channel program with Van Dyke and Ryland backing him. Yep. And Bob is strumming acoustic guitar. Ry and Van Dyke are so subtle yet there-- it is some of the best Dylan in years.

Happy In Bag said...

" subtle yet there..." Your well-turned phrase captures his essence, BGO. Thanks for the tip.

bgo said...

It's on You Tube, HIB.