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Nothing But a Breeze

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Album Review

Jesse Winchester regularly took two years between record releases, but he brought in his fifth album, Nothing But a Breeze, a mere nine months after its predecessor, Let the Rough Side Drag. The impetus for such speed seems to have been the potential commercial bonanza to be gained by Winchester's first U.S. appearances since he moved to Canada to avoid the draft in 1967, due to President Jimmy Carter's amnesty program. Winchester also used a real producer, Brian Ahern (known for his work with Emmylou Harris), for the first time, and augmented his usual backup band with session stars such as Ricky Skaggs and James Burton, plus supporting vocalists like Harris and Anne Murray. The result was an Ahern-style country-pop album, but, perhaps predictably, a rather light effort for Winchester, who performed three covers among the ten tracks and included among the originals such comic trifles as "Twigs and Seeds" and "Rhumba Man." The title track, which became his first singles-chart entry, and "My Songbird," which Harris later covered, were effective songs. Nothing But a Breeze enjoyed a media buzz and became Winchester's highest-charting album (which isn't saying much).


Born: 17 May 1944 in Bossier City, LA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Jesse Winchester was the music world's most prominent Vietnam War draft evader, though his renown came from a body of wry, closely observed songs. After growing up in Memphis, Winchester received his draft notice in 1967 and moved to Montreal, Canada, rather than serve in the military. In 1969, he met Robbie Robertson of the Band, who helped launch his recording career. In the same way that James Taylor's history of mental instability and drug abuse served as a subtext for his early music, Winchester's...
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Nothing But a Breeze, Jesse Winchester
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