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Music singer andsongwriter Vic Chesnutt picture (pic) and photo gallery, albums cover pictures.
Born: November 12, 1965 in Jacksonville, Florida, USA.
An adoptee, Chesnutt was raised in Zebulon, Georgia, where he first started writing songs at the age of five. His disability resulted from a 1983 car accident when driving while drunk landed him in a ditch. After his recovery he left Zebulon and moved to Athens, which he felt was more compatible with his artistic lifestyle. There he joined a band, The La Di Das, before moving on to performing solo in a regular spot at the 40 Watt Club. It was at the 40 Watt that he was spotted by Michael Stipe of R.E.M. It was Stipe who produced Chesnutt's first two albums, Little (1990) and West of Rome (1991). In 1992 Chesnutt was the subject of a PBS documentary, Speed Racer. He also made a brief appearance in the 1996 Billy Bob Thornton movie Sling Blade.
Chesnutt songwriting style has its roots is poetry and poetic forms of expression. He is particularly fond of the late British poet Stevie Smith and has recorded two of her poems as songs, including the well-known Smith poem, Not Waving but Drowning. There is a distinctively Southern feel to his music, as well as his accent. He often uses Southern folksy terms in his lyrics. Chesnutt is often praised for his unique phrasing, in which he often draws out individual syllables for unusually long periods during a song, a style of phrasing more usually associated with jazz singing. Chesnutt himself has said one of his biggest vocal influences is the late jazz vocalist/trumpeter Chet Baker.
Though much of Chesnutt's music is autobiographical, he has also recorded many songs concerning entirely fictional characters and situations. It is not always clear which is which and listeners and reviewers have often mistaken an entirely fictional story-based song as representing Chesnutt's own experiences.
In his youth he was a fairly serious drug and alcohol user; his third album Drunk (1993) was recorded mostly in the condition of drunkenness. He made some failed suicide attempts as well. He has overcome his alcoholism in recent years, though. Chesnutt has also been a supporter of medical marijuana , which he claims helps with his medical problems. He contributed the track Weed to the Rescue to the 1998 Hempilation II charity album , with proceeds going to NORML, the national organization for the reform of marijuana laws. Chesnutt is also a self-confessed shoplifter, a topic he has sung about and referred to in interviews.
In 1996, Chesnutt was exposed to a wider audience with the release of the tribute album Sweet Relief II: Gravity Of The Situation (the proceeds going to the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund.) The album consisted of Chesnutt covers by famous musicians including Garbage, The Smashing Pumpkins (with Red Red Meat), Madonna and R.E.M.
He has several times recorded with other groups and artists. Most notably he has made two albums with a fellow Athens, GA group Widespread Panic, under the name of brute. Chesnutt's album The Salesman and Bernadette (1998) was recorded with alt-country group Lambchop as the backing band. The album Merriment was a collaborative effort between Chesnutt and Kelly and Nikki Keneipp, with Vic writing and singing the songs, and the Keneipps playing the music. The 2005 album Ghetto Bells features famed guitarist Bill Frisell, whom Chesnutt met in 2004 at the renowned Century of Song concert series at the German festival RuhrTriennale. Chesnutt's wife, Tina Chesnutt, frequently plays bass on his albums. His niece, and fellow songwriter, Liz Durrett also appeared on the Ghetto Bells album.
Chesnutt's first four albums were released on the independent Texas Hotel label. He then recorded About to Choke (1996) for Capitol, which was his first and only major record label recording. The Salesman and Bernadette (1998) was on Polygram; Merriment (2000) was on the Backburner Records label; spinART was the label for the self performed and recorded Left to His Own Devices (2001). Vic then found a new home at the New West Records label, who have released two albums for him so far. In 2004 New West also rereleased the early Texas Hotel recordings, including expanded liner notes and extra tracks.
Vic Chesnutt Discography (Albums):
-2005 Extra Credit EP.
-2005 Ghetto Bells.
-2003 Silver Lake.
-2001 Left to his Own Devices.
-1998 The Salesman and Bernadette.
-1996 About to Choke.
-1995 Is the Actor Happy?.
-1991 West Of Rome.
With Widespread Panic as brute:
-1995 Nine High a Pallet.