10 Songs, 44 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Vic Chesnutt’s debut album, Little, produced by Michael Stipe, was little more than Chesnutt and his guitar, with a little cheap keyboard for accent. It was one of his most compelling releases. Skitter On Take-Off, Chesnutt’s second album of 2009 (his collaboration with Silver Mt. Zion At the Cut was released just weeks earlier) is mostly just Chesnutt alone in the studio. “Feast In the Time of Plague,” the six minute “Rips In the Fabric,” and the nearly festive “Society Sue” add drummer Tommy Larkin, for the slightest of accompaniment. But it’s the sweet quiet of the room in “Unpacking My Suitcase” and the studio chatter preceding “Dimples” which alert longtime Chesnutt followers that the man is in his natural habitat. Chesnutt is the rare performer who is often at his best when left alone, his voice given extra room to roam, as his guitar expresses but a few notes. The fragility of his voice as it twists around the words, or howls in sublime beauty (“My New Life”), is unmatched in modern music. Definitely not for everyone, but for those who love Chesnutt’s quiet desperation, there is no substitute.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Vic Chesnutt’s debut album, Little, produced by Michael Stipe, was little more than Chesnutt and his guitar, with a little cheap keyboard for accent. It was one of his most compelling releases. Skitter On Take-Off, Chesnutt’s second album of 2009 (his collaboration with Silver Mt. Zion At the Cut was released just weeks earlier) is mostly just Chesnutt alone in the studio. “Feast In the Time of Plague,” the six minute “Rips In the Fabric,” and the nearly festive “Society Sue” add drummer Tommy Larkin, for the slightest of accompaniment. But it’s the sweet quiet of the room in “Unpacking My Suitcase” and the studio chatter preceding “Dimples” which alert longtime Chesnutt followers that the man is in his natural habitat. Chesnutt is the rare performer who is often at his best when left alone, his voice given extra room to roam, as his guitar expresses but a few notes. The fragility of his voice as it twists around the words, or howls in sublime beauty (“My New Life”), is unmatched in modern music. Definitely not for everyone, but for those who love Chesnutt’s quiet desperation, there is no substitute.

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