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    Jesse Winchester

    Presented by at McGonigel's Mucky Duck

    February 7, 2012

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    Jesse Winchester

    McGonigel's Mucky Duck presents Jesse Winchester.

    A Louisiana native raised in Memphis, Winchester pulled off one of the greatest debuts in rock 'n' roll history, 1970's Jesse Winchester. Having moved to Montreal in order to avoid being drafted during the Vietnam War, Winchester began writing songs and playing in various Canadian bands, and his debut was the callow American cousin to John Cale's spooky and slightly stoned Vintage Violence, released the same year. With scruffy guitar courtesy of producer Robbie Robertson, Jesse Winchester moved effortlessly from lyricism to carnal celebration and immediately made Winchester's reputation.

    His early songs remain among his most indelible and frequently covered. "Biloxi" was a beautiful piece of fogged-in production, complete with strings and piano. "He sees creatures from a dream on the water / And the sun will set from off towards New Orleans," Winchester sang. "The Brand New Tennessee Waltz" was an expatriate's rueful self-examination, while "Yankee Lady" amounted to a conflicted idyll that found Winchester enjoying the love of an understanding woman—and her apple cider—in a faraway land.

    It could be that Winchester never matched his first record's intensity, but that may be nothing more than a critical commonplace that ignores his true talent. There's a very sly and ever-so-slightly Latinate temperament to Winchester's songs. Stoney Edwards could do a brilliant cover of Winchester's "Mississippi You're on My Mind" (and take it into the country charts in 1975), but Winchester sang everything with a soulful edge that took its time and cut where it wanted to cut. Anyway, he made good records: 1977's underratedNothing But a Breeze is a sweet, funky, civilized delight.

    He's still making fine music, although not as frequently as his admirers would like. (Pardoned by President Jimmy Carter in 1977, Winchester moved back to Memphis for a couple of years before settling in Virginia.) He cut his newLove Filling Station in Nashville with a crack band that includes string wizard Russ Barenberg and singer Claire Lynch. His voice is as entrancing as ever, and he proves a sharp observer of Southern life on the pained, compassionate "It's a Shame About Him." Love Filling Station is a first-rate piece of work, and musical conservatism at its most compelling.

    McGonigel's Mucky Duck

    2425 Norfolk
    Houston, TX 77098

    Full map and directions

    Admission Info:

    Advance Tickets: $25.00
    Ticket price at the door: $28.00

    General Day and Time Info:


    Phone: (713) 528-5999

    Parking: Surface lot and street parking available.

    Accessibility Information: Currently, no accessibility information is available for this event.

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