A Reasonable Amount of Trouble
This is Jesse Winchester’s final album – recorded when the cancer that eventually claimed him was in remission, the final set of songs, some originals, some covers, released now – posthumously. It’s hard to be objective in any way, as is always the way with a posthumous release. You hear it and think not just of what has eventuated but what could have been. These are quietly, softly stunning performances, from the rock’n’roll chug of She Makes It Easy Now and the country-tinge to opener All That We Have Is Now through to an endearing softly-softly creep through a well-worn standard like Rhythm of The Rain.
Winchester was a great songwriter – and a wonderful interpreter. Such emotion in Neither Here Nor There, Ghosts and particularly the closer here, Just So Much. A bit of rock’n’roll’s great spirit in Whispering Bells and a lovely performance on Every Day I Get The Blues.
That voice, always seeming like it might just fall away, always delivering just enough of the song – it’s hard to listen to this knowing there’ll be no more. And then you think again about what a perfect coda this is, a quiet, gentle summation, a sentimental signing off.
Like Jimmy Webb and JD Souther, Winchester is someone you might think will be better served by versions of his songs, by stories from fellow musicians who became both fans and friends, but then you hear the versions from the voice that crafted them and it makes its own kind of sense.
This is a lovely record. It’s all it needs to be. And it’s all we have left.
If you’ve never heard this kind and gentle soul then start here.