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Skitter On Take-Off

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iTunes Review

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.

Customer Reviews

Classic Vic

The second of two releases in the Fall of 2009, Skitter on Take-Off stands out as one of Vic Chesnutt's best albums of the decade. The music is aptly sparse, highlighting Vic's unique, dark, and affecting lyrics. This album reminds me of his first couple of recording efforts. The album was recorded live with no over dubs, lending an urgency to the recording that a polished effort would have simply robbed the listener of early on. This bare-bones approach was led by Jonthan Richman and Tommy Larkins, who are also legends of indie rock. Highly recommended.


Born: 1965 in Jacksonville, FL

Genre: Rock

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

Though Michael Stipe had been a fan of Vic Chesnutt since the late '80s, producing his first two full-lengths, it took the Sweet Relief Two tribute album to make a star of him in mid-1996. The album featured artists such as Madonna, Hootie & the Blowfish, Smashing Pumpkins, and R.E.M. covering the songs of Chesnutt, a paraplegic who was injured in a car accident when he was 18. The singer/songwriter began playing contemporary acoustic folk around Athens, GA, soon after his injury. A show at the 40...
Full Bio