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The Long Way Around - Feature from Issue #6 Nov-Dec 1996

Vic Chesnutt

Gravity In BulkEccentric Southern songwriters Vic Chesnutt and Jack Logan are the Jimmy Webb and Burt Bacharach of their generation

ND: Have you heard the new one?

Jack: Not the very newest one. Is The Actor Happy? is great.

ND: It sounds like there’s more peace of mind on the new one.

Vic: I don’t know. I mean, it was recorded in a most haphazard way. It was kind of desperately recorded.

ND: It doesn’t sound desperate.

Vic: That’s good.

Jack: Where did you record it?

Vic: A couple of different places. At John Keane’s [studio, in Athens]. And some was done at Full Moon, and some in New York, in the Hudson Valley. Up there in the Catskills.

Jack: Did you catch any lounge acts while you were there?

Vic: Well, I kinda went to a lounge-y place, yeah. I saw somebody play who was pretty…lounge-y.

Jack: Was it a full band, or just keyboard?

Vic: It was full-on alterno…

Jack: Ohhh. Alternative has hit the Catskills?

Vic: Well, it wasn’t, like, true Catskills. This was like hipster…

Jack: Cat Foot-hills?

ND: You know, Jack, they never ran that piece we did for SongTalk. That really pissed me off.

Jack: Ah, well, you know. I’m still pretty low on the old Richter scale. I’d rather read about Jimmy Webb, anyway, in that issue you sent me. Do you like Jimmy Webb?

Vic: Yeah, I like Jimmy Webb.

ND: Does he do anything, anymore?

Vic: He just made a new record.

Jack: Wow.

ND: What are some of his songs? “Up, Up And Away”?

Jack: “Lineman For The County”. Or “Wichita Lineman”, rather.

Vic: “Rhinestone Cowboy”. Did he write “Rhinestone Cowboy”? He definitely wrote “Wichita Lineman”.

Jack: He wrote some of Glen Campbell’s early hits, right? “Rhinestone Cowboy”? I thought Glen wrote that one himself.

ND: Let’s hope he didn’t write “Rhinestone Cowboy”. [Ed. note: "Rhinestone Cowboy" was written by Larry Weiss.]

Vic: That’s a great one, too! That’s a classic!

Jack: He can really play, too. Have you ever seen Glen Campbell just play guitar? He’s a badass. He was in the Beach Boys.

ND: Speaking of the Beach Boys, weren’t you going to do something with Van Dyke Parks?

Vic: Well, I’d like to. We talked about it, but…

Jack: Have you met that guy?

Vic: Yeah.

Jack: Really? Is he a cool guy?

Vic: Van Dyke’s fucking amazing.

Jack: I’ve got a couple of his records. Song Of The Clippers [Ed. note: we suspect he's referring to Clang of the Yankee Reaper], stuff I’ve found at the Goodwill store for a dollar.

Vic: Vinyl?

Jack: Yeah, all vinyl.

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Originally Featured in Issue #6 Nov-Dec 1996

Cover of Issue #6 Nov-Dec 1996

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