12 Songs, 42 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

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.

EDITORS’ NOTES

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.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5

40 Ratings

40 Ratings

Love Filling Station

Rhumba Man

Jesse Winchester has re-emerged with brillient love songs. His simple, vulnerable, Southern Gentleman style it at its best.

The best

Chris V Stuart

Jesse Winchester is simply the best songwriter alive and possibly the best singer. . . I saw him live in a one-man show in San Diego and it was the best show I've ever seen. . . enough superlatives, just listen and enjoy. . . .

Love Filling Station

Joe Buddy

I discovered Jesse Winchester in 2008 at the Sisters Folk Festival in Sisters, Oregon. I thought I had made the musical discovery of a life time! His deeply southern roots were apparent in his music and lyrics. I've never experienced an artist with so much humility and genuine appreciation for his audience. I went on iTunes and bought all of Jesse's albums. In his newest release (April, 2009) Love Filling Station, he brings even more of his fine writing to life. I especially enjoy "Bless Your Foolish Heart," "Stand By Me," and the greatest song I've heard in a long time, "Sham-A-Ling-Dong-Ding." It's even better alive! "I Turn to My Guitar" is a song that guitarists will certainly identify. "Loose Talk" that features Claire Lynch really shows off Jesse's writing skill for the bluegrass genre.

About Jesse Winchester

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 exile lent real-life poignancy to songs like "Yankee Lady," which appeared on his debut album, Jesse Winchester (1970). He became a Canadian citizen in 1973.

Despite critical acclaim, his inability to tour in the U.S. prevented him from taking his place among the major singer/songwriters of the early '70s, but he made a series of impressive albums -- Third Down, 110 to Go (August 1972), Learn to Love It (August 1974), Let the Rough Side Drag (June 1976), and Nothing But a Breeze (March 1977) -- before President Jimmy Carter instituted an amnesty that finally allowed him to play in his homeland. By that time, the singer/songwriter boom had passed, though Winchester continued to record (A Touch on the Rainy Side [July 1978], Talk Memphis [February 1981], Humour Me [1988]) and even scored a Top 40 hit with "Say What" in 1981.

His most prominently covered songs include "Yankee Lady" (Brewer & Shipley), "The Brand New Tennessee Waltz" (Joan Baez, Ian Matthews), "Biloxi" (Tom Rush, Jimmy Buffett), "Mississippi, You're on My Mind" (Jerry Jeff Walker, Stoney Edwards [for a Top 40 country hit]), "Defying Gravity" (Jimmy Buffett, Emmylou Harris), "Rhumba Girl" (Nicolette Larson [for a pop chart entry]), "Well-A-Wiggy" (the Weather Girls [for an R&B chart entry]), and "I'm Gonna Miss You, Girl" (Michael Martin Murphey [for a Top Ten country hit]).

In 1999, Winchester returned from a long recording hiatus with the new album Gentleman of Leisure. An active live performer, Winchester released his first live album in 24 years with 2001's Jesse Winchester Live at Mountain Stage. The following year he moved from Canada back to the United States and settled down in Charlottesville, Virginia with his new wife, Cindy Duffy. Two albums would follow before the close of the decade: Live, a concert recording that Winchester claimed was released without his authorization, and a new studio album, Love Filling Station, released on Appleseed Recordings in 2009. Winchester was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 2011 but was pronounced cancer-free following surgery. However, in early 2014 he received a diagnosis of bladder cancer, and he died from the disease at home in Charlottesville on April 11, 2014; Jesse Winchester was 69 years old. ~ William Ruhlmann

HOMETOWN
Bossier City, LA
GENRE
Rock
BORN
May 17, 1944

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