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- About To Choke by Vic Chesnutt
8/10 Penrith Steve Customer review, 29th October 2014
Vic Chesnutt’s brand of croaky, folky Americana is intelligent, sometimes sad and sometimes funny. As shown in one of the album’s best tracks, “Hot Seat”, he has a talent for the tragically comical, “Secret tequila shots and a patch of morphine, in the morning and in the throes, what a great day to come out of a coma”. This ability is perhaps down to his life’s experiences. He had what was ostensibly a tragic life on a similar scale to that of Judee Sill. He was adopted; he was paralyzed in a car crash at the age of eighteen which left him wheelchair bound and he took an overdose of muscle relaxants and died on Christmas Day in 2009 at the age of 45.
“About To Choke”, originally released in 1996, was his only album to be released on a major label, Capitol Records, it is not his best album, that crown would go to “West Of Rome” or “Is The Actor Happy?” There are some bloody great songs here though: “New Town”, “Degenerate” and “Giant Sands”. “Little Vacation” is also great despite its bontempi swing backing. Michael Stipe discovered him, produced a couple of his albums, remained a friend and was at his bedside when he died.
Like so many artists, great music comes from tragedy. Buy this, listen to it, light a candle to Vic.
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