Love Filling Station

Jesse Winchester

Appleseed, 2009

REVIEW BY: David Bowling


Jesse Winchester has returned with his first studio album in ten years. While he has never been a huge commercial success, he has built up a loyal following that has allowed him to tour and record for nearly forty years. His compositions have been covered by such artists as Joan Baez, Elvis Costello, and Jimmy Buffett.

Winchester’s career can be divided into three distinct parts. He moved to Canada in the early 1970’s due to his views on the Vietnam War. His early material reflected this angst as he touched on a number of topical subjects. He remained in Canada after then-President Jimmy Carter declared amnesty in 1977 but was able to tour on a regular schedule again. His material began to turn in a gentler direction. His output remained fairly prolific, and he released seven albums between 1971 and 1981. Now relocated back in The United States, his songs have taken on a maturity and exude contentment.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Love Filling Station is only his third release since the early ‘80s. He remains securely in the folk/country tradition. His nine original songs, out of twelve on the release, are finely crafted and gentle additions to his catalogue. There are many songs of love and a few of amusement.

The album starts very strong. “O What A Thrill” immediately demonstrates that his clear tenor is in fine form, and if anything, has improved with age. The track is catchy, melodic, and lyrically strong. “Bless Your Foolish Heart” is an odd love song about why the popular girl foolishly chose him. “Wear Me Out” is a nice up-tempo tune that demonstrates Winchester’s pickin’ style.

His cover of the old Ben E. King standard “Stand By Me” is excellent. His interpretation is pure country, and the fiddle perfectly complements his relaxing vocal. “It’s A Shame About Him” contain tongue-in-cheek lyrics against an almost bluegrass background.

There are two beautiful love songs here. “Sham-A-Ling-Dong-Ding,” despite the weird title, is a beautiful and slow ballad. “I’m Gonna Miss You Girl” is why I listen to Jesse Winchester. This tender song of love lost mines the memories of the heart via his well-constructed imagery.

Jesse Winchester is now in his mid-sixties and so hopefully it will not be another ten years before his next release. Love Filling Station finds him alive, well, and at his creative best.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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