Jesse Winchester – Touch on the Rainy Side (1978)

Posted by on August 10, 2013
in folk

jeWith American recording studios open to him for the first time, Jesse Winchester traveled to Nashville and enlisted producer Norbert Putnam, who assembled the elements of the Nashville sound, with its strings and horns and backup choruses, to make an album that moved him more toward lush country and especially R&B. Winchester’s flexible voice, capable of gliding into a sweet falsetto, made the latter more successful than might have been expected. What kept the album from being one of his better collections was not the slick production — it was the material. A year after a media blitz had failed to make him a star, Winchester was starting to show signs of strain. He led the album off with the title track, an explicit expression of devotion to his wife, who he mentioned by name. This was followed by a sour on-the-road song, “A Showman’s Life,” and later on there were tributes to driving and drinking. In fact, the most heartfelt song was “Little Glass of Wine,” an alcoholic’s love song. None of this was up to his songwriting standard.

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