I don't know anyone who dislikes Jesse Winchester's music. It seems to me that there are only those who love it and those who have never heard it. Jesse is a songwriter's songwriter, praised by every composer from Dylan down and covered by greats from Wilson Pickett to the Everly Brothers. Jesse Winchester's songs are like mirrors in which both performers and listeners can see themselves.
Among Jesse's most prominent fans are Jimmy Buffett and Elvis Costello, both of whom have covered a number of Jesse songs on record and in concert, and both of whom performed with him on television in 2010 - Elvis on his SPECTACLE series and Jimmy on his CONCERT FOR THE GULF special after the BP oil spill...Buffett and Costello both took great pleasure in introducing one of their musical heroes to their own audience.
A year after that, in 2011, Jesse was told he had esophageal cancer. He stopped in the middle of a tour and began radiation treatments, followed by surgery. Immediately, Buffett and Costello agreed that it would be a good idea to put together a tribute album as a show of support.
At Christmas of 2011 Buffett wrote to Jesse and told him the album was coming, a gift from a whole bunch of grateful musicians and songwriters to a master. Jesse expressed his gratitude and had some good news of his own. He had beat the odds - after treatment and surgery the doctors had told him he was cancer free. Soon he returned to the road and as of this writing is performing again, making up for a lost year. A happy ending all around.
This album is a tribute to a great singer/songwriter and also to the community of musicians who pulled together to show their love and respect to Jesse when he was down. Now that Jesse is back up, make sure you see him when he comes to your town. They are not making any more like him.
(excerpts taken from the album liner notes, written by Bill Flanagan)