Very sad news came over the holidays with the death of Georgia-based folk rocker Vic Chesnutt, who passed away on Christmas Day at the age of 45 after falling into a drug-related coma. He was a respected and influential musician who worked with Widespread Panic, Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Fugazi and Lambchop and counted R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe, Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan and Throwing Muses’ Kristin Hersh among his devoted fans. He was also a passionate supporter of Sweet Relief, a Musician’s Fund that provides financial assistance to career musicians who are struggling to make ends meet while facing illness, disability, or age-related problems. Chesnutt, himself, was confined to a wheelchair after a car accident that left him paralyzed at the age of 18. I just made a donation in his honor to the Sweet Relief Musician’s Fund and I encourage you to do the same. I can’t think of a better way to honor his memory than by supporting the charity that he loved. To read more about the charity and to donate, click here.
What musicians say about Vic:
“We have lost one of our great ones. His songs and his story remain.”
“I flew around a little room once. A line from Supernatural.
He was just that. He possessed an unearthly energy and
yet was humanistic with the common man in mind. He was
entirely present and entirely somewhere else. A mystical
somewhere else. A child and an old guy as he called himself.
Before he made an album he said he was a bum. Now he
is in flight bumming round beyond the little room. With his
“in 1991 i moved to athens georgia in search of god, but what I discovered instead was vic chesnutt. hearing his music completely transformed the way i thought about writing songs, and i will forever be in his debt.
Neutral Milk Hotel
“we love you and miss you so much vic chesnutt…it was so amazing to know you and record an album with you and tour all over the world with you..you are the greatest songwriter and singer to ever come out of athens and it was an honor to play with you..i love these lyrics of vic’s about water (this is from memory so it may be a little off)
…….”The same water that the dinosaurs drank
…….is the same water that the Persian fleets sank in
…….The same water that moistened the primordial ooze
…….is now hammering on my metal porch roof”
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