Sunday, March 21, 2010

The quiet power of Jesse Winchester

Last night I watched my friend Jesse Winchester share a guitar pull on Elvis Costello’s Spectacle TV show with Elvis Costello, Ron Sexsmith, Sheryl Crow and Neko Case.

Jesse stole the hearts of his fellow artists and the audience – and me, and I’m sure, just about everybody else watching at home – with the quiet, powerful and unique way he has of riveting and moving people with his superb songs and oh so soulful singing.

I’ve been listening to Jesse and watching him do this since the first time I saw him live back in 1969; including countless times at concerts of his that I’ve produced and/or MCed (for the first time in 1974) and at festivals we’ve been part of together.

Watch and listen to this video from Spectacle of Jesse singing “Sham-A-Ling-Dong-Ding,” and see how intently Elvis Costello is drawn into the song. Then, as the song ends, watch the effect it has on Neko Case.

Jesse will  be performing in Toronto, April 9-10, at Hugh's Room, and in Kingston, April 17, at the Octave Theatre.

Pictured: Mike Regenstreif and Jesse Winchester in 2006 at the Sala Rossa in Montreal.

--Mike Regenstreif

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