Rest in Peace, Vic Chesnutt

I’m still around, in amongst the millions, cause people can’t die anymoreVic Chesnutt

Sources: New York Times, Constellation Records, and NPR

The world has lost a great talent and we have lost a great friend. Athens has suffered much this year, losing Vic is the latest horrible blow. He died today at 3 p.m. in Athens after being in a coma. Read whatever you will into other reports of exactly how he died, it doesn’t matter to me. We’ve lost a great man far too soon.

The last time I saw Vic, Vanessa, Cathy, and I were waiting with him at Trapeze before his last 40 Watt show. It was a fierce performance, like nothing I’d seen him do before. But what I’ll always remember are the laughs and quiet conversation we shared before. Vic, you bastard, I’ll cling to that night forever now.

Chesnutt’s career really began at the 40 Watt club where he’d play solo nights, catching the eye and ear of R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe who produced his first two albums Little and West of Rome. Stipe would later cover Chestnutt’s haunting piece “Sponge.” Chesnutt was also a man of film, having been the subject of a documentary Speed Racer  and appearing in the movie Sling Blade. Besides his work with Stipe, Chesnutt frequently collaborated with Widespread Panic as brute and created Dark Developments with Elf Power in 2008. He also produced Liz Durrett’s album Husk.

His last two albums, At the Cut and Skitter on Take-Off have been lauded by critics as some of his best work. Haunting and brutally honest to the last, Chesnutt often poured himself into his songs, drawing on his own life experiences. Chesnutt was confined to a wheel-chair after a car accident when he was 18. He continued writing songs after he discovered he could still play guitar. He recently spoke to Spinner about health care issues and his own financial struggles with his medical expenses.

All of our thoughts and prayers are with Vic’s family and friends.

More information will be posted as we confirm details.

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