Love Filling Station
Jesse Winchester’s self-titled debut album immediately established him as both a singular songwriting talent and a performer of expressive understated grace. Winchester’s own fortunes have rested mostly with others covering his tunes; his own output has slowed considerably over the years. Love Filling Station is his first album since 1999’s aptly titled Gentleman of Leisure and it’s filled with the same easeful flow that one expects from Winchester. His soulful, country-inspired cover of Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me” fits in seamlessly next to the quick-stepping fiddle-fired “It’s A Shame About Him” and “O What a Thrill,” once covered by the Mavericks. But Winchester is at his finest with the ballads where he sits with a simple acoustic guitar and lets the melody fly. The deceptively titled “Sham-A-Ling-Dong-Ding” is actually a heartfelt ballad. He reclaims “I’m Gonna Miss You Girl” from Michael Martin Murphey who once scored it as a top 10 country hit. A cover of Freddy Hart’s “Loose Talk” as a duet with country-bluegrass singer Claire Lynch closes things out on an upbeat note.