There’s a familiar proverb that goes “You many know a man by the company he keeps”. If that is indeed the case, then Jesse Winchester who passed away last week, was a truly rich man. Jesse Winchester may have been a singer and songwriter but it’s the artists that recognized his gift for the latter. His songs were deceptively simple but told stories of embracing life’s ups and downs. A great example is the first song he ever wrote, “The Brand New Tennessee Waltz“. It was covered by Lyle Lovett, Joan Baez and The Everly Brothers among others.
But I left Tennessee, in a hurry, dear, now
In the same way that I’m leaving you
Because love is mainly just memories, you see
And everyone has got him a few
So when I’m gone, I’ll be glad to love you
Artists loved to collaborate with Jesse so here are just a few of my favorites:
Jesse with Bonnie Rait and Emmylou Harris
Jesse with Jimmy Buffett and Allen Toussaint
Here’s Elvis Costello and Sheryl Crown on bass dueting with Jesse on his song “Payday”
Finally, here’s Jesse beautifully singing “Sham A Lam Dong Ding” and literally moving Neko Case to tears.