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Jesse Winchester

16 Mar 06 - 11:08 PM (#1695788)
Subject: Jesse Winchester
From: number 6

I've just been playing a Jesse Winchester song "The Brand New Tennesse Waltz" ... So I decided to post this thread.

Other Favourites of mine....

Biloxi
Yankee Lady

Any other fans here? Anyone heard him lately?

sIx


16 Mar 06 - 11:09 PM (#1695790)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: Peace

Count me in.


16 Mar 06 - 11:23 PM (#1695800)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: Dave'sWife

Love him!

Executioners song is one I've always liked.


16 Mar 06 - 11:30 PM (#1695803)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: Barry Finn

Yup, it's to bad we lost him to the Canadians over Viet Nam. Great songwriter & singer
Barry


16 Mar 06 - 11:32 PM (#1695806)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: Peace

A loss for you for sure, but a gain for Montreal and its clubs, stages and concerts. Jesse is a gem of a guy and a helluva songwriter.


16 Mar 06 - 11:33 PM (#1695807)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: Dave'sWife

That's what I thought Barry Finn. I almost said something to that effect but didn't because I didn't want to be wrong.

The fellow he sang lead in Pure Prairie League and who co-wrote "Amie" also got into a beef with the draft baortd and wound up in jail over it I believe. So, PPL hired Vince Gill and became irrelevant.


16 Mar 06 - 11:37 PM (#1695811)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: number 6

Was Jesse from Tennessee or Mississppi originaly? Just curious.

sIx


17 Mar 06 - 12:24 AM (#1695829)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: open mike

he is back, and touring recently..
i heard him last year...
http://www.jessewinchester.com/
he is playing 4 dates in may
according to his web page.
he warns that there are 2
bootleg albums of his songs
out there and asks that you
avoid them...the sound
quality is poor, his name is
mis-spelled and he gets nothing
from the sales.

i like his christmas song
"Let's Make a Baby King"


17 Mar 06 - 02:58 PM (#1696367)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: fat B****rd

Payday had always been a favourite of mine.


17 Mar 06 - 03:57 PM (#1696405)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: Charmion

I, too, have admired the man for many years, and have enjoyed several of his concert appearances, most recently in Ottawa during the winter of 2004-05. It was fascinating: the room was full of middle-aged women (not unlike my good self) all yearning heliotropically toward the stage with that look you see on people watching a performer whom they have followed for a very long time. In manner, he did the southern-gentleman thing, walking the line between courtly and flirtatious that one reads about often but rarely sees in these chilly no'thern latitudes. Men in the audience -- and there were a few -- must have felt a bit left out.

Nowadays he's more of a cabaret singer than anything else; the style is European although the material is stubbornly American, with a surprising garnish of Montreal-scented Canadianism.


17 Mar 06 - 04:20 PM (#1696414)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: Wesley S

Rhumba Man !!

Mississippi You're On My Mind


17 Mar 06 - 05:51 PM (#1696487)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: bobad

I saw Jesse in his first appearance in Canada back in 1967 at the college I was attending. The announcer said that he was dodging the draft and had recently arrived in Montreal and this was his first public performance. Onto the auditorium stage strode this shy, nervous guy carrying an electric guitar and a little amp. He sat on a stool and began to play and sing, hardly looking up and not talking to the audience at all but for a few words. I don't recall the song list that evening because I saw him numerous times and don't remember what he sang when, but I believe it included Yankee Lady and Twigs and Seeds which received a raucous reception, this being college and the sixties. Good memories.


17 Mar 06 - 06:08 PM (#1696495)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: Deda

I think his "Wintry Feeling" is one of the most beautiful songs of the 70s -- although I didn't hear it until the 80s. Thanks for the reminder, I'll watch for him again.


17 Mar 06 - 06:57 PM (#1696519)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: labougie


17 Mar 06 - 06:58 PM (#1696521)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: labougie

On the subject of "Brand New Tennessee Waltz", it recently struck me that 'walzing on air' might be a reference to being hung. Any comments?


17 Mar 06 - 07:04 PM (#1696530)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: Bonnie Shaljean

In addition to the others mentioned above, I always liked Doo-la-lay (or however you spell it), a lullaby he wrote for his baby son. Don't let the awful title put you off: the song is sensitive without being soft, and sweet without being sugary.


17 Mar 06 - 07:10 PM (#1696533)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: open mike

and what is "being hung" a reference to?


17 Mar 06 - 07:12 PM (#1696534)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: Peace

"'walzing on air' might be a reference to being hung."

Jesse was never that blunt in his writing.


17 Mar 06 - 07:22 PM (#1696536)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: Bonnie Shaljean

I don't have the lyrics to hand, but isn't the line WE'RE literally(?) waltzing on air? It always gave me the impression of someone having no solid or lasting ground under his feet, or of not being able to stand on it long enough to stay still.


17 Mar 06 - 07:44 PM (#1696545)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: bobad

"Was Jesse from Tennessee or Mississppi originaly? Just curious"

Jesse Winchester is the stage name of James Ridout Winchester (born May 17, 1944 in Shreveport, Louisiana)

Winchester was raised in Memphis, Tennessee, and attended Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, graduating in 1966

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesse_Winchester


17 Mar 06 - 07:52 PM (#1696553)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: Ebbie

"That's what makes us strong, that's what gives us power
That's what lets the meek come sit beside the king
That's what makes us smile in our final hour
That's what heals our souls and that's what makes us sing"

One of my very favorite songs...


17 Mar 06 - 08:23 PM (#1696574)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: Mike Regenstreif

Executioners song is one I've always liked.

I think you might be mixing him up with someone else. I'm very familiar with everything Jesse's ever done and that doesn't ring any bells.

A loss for you for sure, but a gain for Montreal and its clubs, stages and concerts. Jesse is a gem of a guy and a helluva songwriter.

I never thought he'd move back, but Jesse has been living in the Memphis area for the past couple of years.

Was Jesse from Tennessee or Mississppi originaly? Just curious.

Jesse was born in Shreveport, Louisiana and grew up in Memphis, Tennesse.

I saw Jesse in his first appearance in Canada back in 1967 at the college I was attending...I don't recall the song list that evening because I saw him numerous times and don't remember what he sang when, but I believe it included Yankee Lady and Twigs and Seeds

I don't think it would have included "Twigs & Seeds." That song dates from the mid-1970s.

On the subject of "Brand New Tennessee Waltz", it recently struck me that 'walzing on air' might be a reference to being hung. Any comments?

"Waltzing on air" is an expression that refers to being totally caught up in the dancing so that the real world seems to disappear. You're looking for an obliqueness that it isn't there.

Mike Regenstreif


17 Mar 06 - 08:59 PM (#1696596)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: labougie

The hanging reference seems like a possibility as the character's obviously on the run from something - 'Left Tennessee in a hurry' 'Thinking of leaving another town' 'No place to go if he did' 'Catch you wherever you're hid'- and there's no clue about what he's running from.    Something capital? Everyone reads different things into lyrics/poetry!


17 Mar 06 - 09:09 PM (#1696603)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: bobad

Thanks for the clarifications Mike, appreciate it, ageing memory and all that.


18 Mar 06 - 01:03 AM (#1696685)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: Mudlark

All New Tenn. Waltz always been one of my favs as well, and I can still hear EmmyLou singing Big Blue Ball...


18 Mar 06 - 09:35 AM (#1696887)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: MRyer

Somewhere along the line I picked up "Mississippi You're On My Mind", knew he had written it and sang it for decades, knowing a little about his draft troubles, but nothing of his other music. A few months ago I had a chance to catch him at a small venue in New Hampshire - figured I owed him at least that for the pleasures of "Mississipi" all these years. My wife and I were blown away by both his performance and his songs. He came out with his nylon string guitar, sat on a stool, and proceeded to sing one gem after another for 90 minutes. I went right out and bought a couple of CDs and am currently immersed in his music. Have already learned "What Makes You Strong" as mentioned by Ebbie above. I think he's great.


18 Mar 06 - 05:16 PM (#1697166)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: number 6

Thanks for the posts everyone.

It's good to share an appreciation of the artistry of Jesse Wincheseter.

sIx


26 Feb 11 - 01:01 AM (#3102975)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: GUEST

"...literally waltzing on air..." in Brand New Tennessee Waltz - the pedant in me has always wondered why he used the word "literally"? Assume that JW deliberately included it, not used the word loosely, but even after all these years I can't figure it.


26 Feb 11 - 10:07 AM (#3103011)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: Beer

Jesse just keeps getting better and better.
Ad.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uKGWpqnS8E


26 Feb 11 - 10:14 AM (#3103015)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: Max

Going to see him Thursday. Who wants to come visit me? I'll take you to the show. http://www.acousticbrew.org/yr/11s/home.html


26 Feb 11 - 10:26 AM (#3103021)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: Beer

Would I ever love to be there. I booked him 2 years ago for a festival and folks are still talking about his performance. One of best show I ever seen.
Ad.


26 Feb 11 - 12:53 PM (#3103107)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: GUEST,Larry Saidman

I also really like "That's What Makes You Strong" Another classic is "Isn't That So".


26 Feb 11 - 02:36 PM (#3103154)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: Crowhugger

A tempting offer Max, though I haven't quite wrapped myself around the 6 or 7 hour drive each way. But did I mention it's verrry tempting...?


26 Feb 11 - 02:40 PM (#3103158)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: Acorn4

"My Songbird" covered by Emmylou Harris.


26 Feb 11 - 04:51 PM (#3103219)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: Joe Offer

Please forgive me, but it's time for a pedantry break:

The early-morning Guest at 1:01 AM has a point about the use of the word "literally waltzing on air." I don't know if this link will take you right there or not, but the "Zits" cartoon covered the same topic yesterday, Feb 25:
  • A girl says, "My scalp is literally on fire."
  • A boy says, "This backpack literally weighs a ton."
  • 'Pierce' (with body piercings) says, "I literally laughed my butt off."
  • Mom asks, "How was your day, Jeremy?" And Jeremy replies, "Surprisingly literal."
I think "literally" has gone the way of "hoi polloi" and is sometimes used to mean the opposite of what it used to mean.....or does it? I literally freaked out the first time I heard somebody use "hoi polloi" to refer to rich people.
"Literally" means "in the literal or strict sense" or "without exaggeration or inaccuracy." Literally, "hoi polloi" means "the many" (in Greek, silly). In English, it means "the common people."

I now return you to your previous discussion.
-Joe-


To redeem myself, let me offer you the lyrics to Jesse Winchester's Tell Me Why You Like Roosevelt. I had thought this was written at Roosevelt's time as a campaign song, but I was wrong - Jesse Winchester wrote this great song in 1974.


26 Feb 11 - 05:26 PM (#3103245)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: GUEST,henryp

I know that it sounds like a pretty little song, but have you ever wondered why he left Tennessee in a hurry?

Exactly what do you think the brand new Tennesses Waltz is? Perhaps it is literally waltzing on air.


26 Feb 11 - 05:32 PM (#3103248)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: GUEST,Gerry

Unfortunately, "figuratively waltzing on air" doesn't scan. "metaphorically waltzing on air" is even worse.


26 Feb 11 - 06:39 PM (#3103275)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: GUEST,henryp

From A Shropshire Lad by AE Housman

On moonlight heath and lonesome bank
The sheep beside me graze;
And yon the gallows used to clank
Fast by the four crossways.

A careless shepherd once would keep
The flocks by moonlight there,*
And high amongst the glimmering sheep
The dead man stood on air.

* Hanging in chains was called keeping sheep by moonlight.


26 Feb 11 - 06:43 PM (#3103277)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: Dorothy Parshall

Could he have left TN in a hurry due to the draft?? Mike will tell us!

Guess I heard him, repeatedly at The Yellow Door, when I was working there. He was sometimes there during the day while I was cooking or cleaning up after lunch. Seemed a sweet guy. A shy young man far from home. Beautiful music ! - choose a fav? Whichever one happens to come to mind.

And doesn't it feel as though you are "literally waltzing on air"? IF you happen to know how to waltz and happen to love your partner!


26 Feb 11 - 07:54 PM (#3103304)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: GUEST,henryp

It may well feel like waltzing on air - that's why it's a metaphor!

And Jesse wasn't talking about the beautiful Tennessee Waltz. He was talking about literally dancing on air in the brand new Tennessee Waltz.

He was obviously trying to draw a distinction, but I guess that he leaves it to the individual to interpret.


28 Feb 11 - 10:33 AM (#3104237)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: GUEST,Crewtondix

I heard him in Staunton, VA at the Mockingbird 3 weeks ago and in Accokeek MD for a special show there last November. Great shows, I'm a huge fan. He sang a couple of "new" songs in addition to a cross section from all his work. He's a character:)


28 Feb 11 - 11:09 AM (#3104262)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: Little Hawk

"Literally" is being used in the non-literal sense in that line... ;-) ...mainly because it has the right number of syllables to fit the phrase neatly, and it therefore sounds good. I love that song.


28 Feb 11 - 02:41 PM (#3104438)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: GUEST,henryp

There seem to be two camps! Whether you think 'literally' is used literally or not depends perhaps whether you are hopelessly romantic or helplessly cynical.

But if you think that it's just a meaningless filler, what meaning then do you attribute to 'brand new'? Are they just two more meaningless fillers? I'd say that Jesse's writing is a little better informed than that. I'll have to leave it there.

I guess most people caught his allusion to Shelley in Snow;

And I'm here to say that if winter comes
Then spring is way behind

Shelley's Ode to the West Wind;

If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?


28 Feb 11 - 02:47 PM (#3104445)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: number 6

Beer said ... "I booked him 2 years ago for a festival and folks are still talking about his performance. One of best show I ever seen."

I saw him perform live at U of T's Convocation Hall 38 years ago and it was one of the best show I have ever seen .... and I mean that literally

biLL ... ;-)


28 Feb 11 - 03:41 PM (#3104490)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: Dorothy Parshall

Artistic license!
How unamused I am when people tear apart or try to analyse someone else's piece of art. What a silly exercise. How arrogant. Poets/songwriters do what they do. Why some of them might even make up words to fit, to suit their fancy. Good for them!

Oh, tsk.


28 Feb 11 - 04:09 PM (#3104515)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: GUEST,henryp

I'll put you in the hopelessly romantic camp, Dorothy!


28 Feb 11 - 04:29 PM (#3104522)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: bobad

"....beware of heartless them
(given the scalpel,they dissect a kiss;
or,sold the reason,they undream a dream)"

ee cummings
one's not half two. It's two are halves of one:


28 Feb 11 - 04:29 PM (#3104523)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: gnu

Henry... you mean he waltzed on out of Tennesee?


28 Feb 11 - 04:43 PM (#3104535)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: Jeri

Lyrics for Brand New Tennessee Waltz

The "literally" is literal in a metaphorical way. That probably doesn't make sense either. I see the song as being about a guy who's without a foundation, rootless, having had the ground pulled out from under him. It's a bitter, regretful song, not a happy one. That's my theory for the line, anyway. Consider this might have all taken place at a ghostly cotillion, and the spirits there are all focused on the lives they recently left. I like songs that leave possibilities for me to explore.

I saw some of Jesse's set at the festival Beer booked him for. I missed a bunch, too, because I was sitting out back in the grass with a couple other people listening to a guy play a song he'd written. I'm sorry I missed Jesse, but I'm really glad I heard the guy's music.


28 Feb 11 - 04:54 PM (#3104544)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: GUEST,henryp

My friend has visited all 48 contiguous states, but I've never been to Tennessee. However, I believe waltzing's popular there.

An earlier message reads;
"...literally waltzing on air..." in Brand New Tennessee Waltz - the pedant in me has always wondered why he used the word "literally"? Assume that JW deliberately included it, not used the word loosely, but even after all these years I can't figure it.

I'm happy to agree that Jesse used the word deliberately and I think that there must have been a reason. If that's a particularly arrogant view, then I apologise. Others think that he's just used the word for convenience. I'm sure we can agree to differ.


28 Feb 11 - 07:01 PM (#3104609)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: Dorothy Parshall

I like that Bobad. eecummings was an interesting character. As for the WORD!!! Jesse used. It is HIS song. That is the word HE chose.

Actually this reminds me of driving home from seeing a Fellini film with five friends. What an amusing discussion!!!!!! Finally, Dorothy said (always the iconoclast?), "I'll bet he had a lot of fun doing that film and laughing to himself, 'what are they going to think I meant by this?   and this? ... and this... Of course no one paid the slightest heed to me. In fact it was rather like this thread. Later I read an interview in which he came very close to quoting what I said.

Nit pick all ye like. It is a human aberration. Tis human to err.... And also to have fun...


28 Feb 11 - 07:34 PM (#3104630)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: GUEST,henryp

Dorothy, you've come very close to quoting what I said.


28 Feb 11 - 08:01 PM (#3104640)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: Dorothy Parshall

Well, some of us think alike!


19 Mar 13 - 10:28 AM (#3492166)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: GUEST,Chuck the Beancounter

One of mu all-time "duh" moments. I've heard The Brand New Tennessee Waltz probably 100 times over the years. While listening to it yesterday, it hit me like a thunderbolt that Jesse probably is singing, at least in part, about a hanging.

"Literally" waltzing on air...They'll find you wherever you're hid...
What else could he mean?

So I come to work this morning and discover that, while I'm probably nuts, at least I have some company. Regardless, IMO, it's one of Jesse's most beautiful songs, which directly implies that it's most beautiful songs in the English language. But I'm just not too happy about the visual that will accompany it from now on.


19 Mar 13 - 10:40 AM (#3492169)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: GUEST,Chuck the Beancounter

One of my all-time "duh" moments. I've heard The Brand New Tennessee Waltz probably 100 times over the years. While listening to it yesterday, it hit me like a thunderbolt that Jesse probably is singing, at least in part, about a hanging.

"Literally" waltzing on air...They'll find you wherever you're hid...
What else could he mean?

So I come to work this morning and discover that, while I'm probably nuts, at least I have some company. Regardless, IMO, it's one of Jesse's most beautiful song, which also means that it's most beautiful songs in the English language. But now I'm not too happy about the visual that will accompany it from now on.


19 Mar 13 - 11:43 AM (#3492203)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester
From: Ebbie

What was it Alice was told? "A word means anything that I say it to mean"? lol

I agree that Winchester probably used 'literally' knowingly, because, given its three syllables, there was room for a phrase rather than a single word.

I still don't like a word used that incorrectly. So there.

(I do like the song, though.)