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Let the Rough Side Drag

Jesse Winchester

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Album Review

At his best, Jesse Winchester is an inspired songwriter with a unique worldview. But even at less than his best, he is a craftsman, capable of turning out an album's worth of well-written songs like those here that, now and then, suggest his personal viewpoint. The title track, another of Winchester's reflections on the importance of persevering under difficult circumstances, and "Damned If You Do," which suggests that you might as well follow your heart because you're in trouble either way, are up to his usual standard. But even slight songs like "Everybody Knows But Me" are clever and enjoyable, and overall, Let the Rough Side Drag, with its accomplished mixture of country and R&B, was Winchester's most accessible album so far, even if it was his least ambitious.

Biography

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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Let the Rough Side Drag, Jesse Winchester
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