Jesse Winchester’s Touching Farewell
By Ken Paulson
I braced myself for the first listening to Jesse Winchester’s A Reasonable Amount of Trouble. After all, this was his final album, recorded while he was dying of cancer. And the cover image of his painting of a crying woman was anything but upbeat.
Who would have guessed such dour packaging would contain such a joyous album? With loving production from Mac McAnally, A Reasonable Amount of Trouble truly celebrates Winchester’s talent. Set for release on Sept. 16, the album features McAnally on guitar, Roscoe Beck on bass and Eric Darken on percussion, with guest turns by Jerry Douglas and Jim Horn.
Opener “All That We Have is Now” tells us to embrace the moment; it’s encouraging and lilting throughout. And then there’s the charming goofiness of “Never Forget to Boogie,” a bluesy shuffle and a pretty good way to live your life.
Winchester tapped into his childhood for three ‘60s-era hits, offering up sweet and fun covers of “Rhythm of the Rain,” “Devil or Angel” and “Whispering Bells.”
Closing out the album is “Just So Much,” a touching reflection on mortality and the most truthful song you’ll ever hear. Stunning.
(This article was first published on Sun209.)