North Star Deserter

North Star Deserter

by Vic ChesnuttVic Chesnutt


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In his liner notes to Vic Chesnutt's North Star Deserter, Jem Cohen wrote, "I make films, I'm no record producer. But I needed to bring these particular people together in this particular place . . . I thought they might hit it off." Despite his lack of previous experience in the recording studio, Cohen's instincts were right on the money; he teamed Chesnutt with Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra and a handful of other notable accompanists (including Fugazi's Guy Picciotto, Bruce Cawdron of Godspeed! You Black Emperor, and Chad Jones and Nadia Moss of Frankie Sparrow) for sessions at Montreal's Hotel2Tango Studios, and the result is a truly extraordinary recording. Chesnutt is a songwriter of singular talents, embracing a homey but keenly intelligent expressionism in his songs that conveys a genuine, often touching humanity, but his collaborators on North Star Deserter have taken his music in a powerful new direction. Rather than simply filling out Chesnutt's melodies, these musicians have crafted soundscapes that often turn these songs into great chaotic symphonies, with Chesnutt's simple but confident acoustic guitar anchoring the whole. Sometimes the accompaniment is simple and subtle, as on "Warm," "Over," and "Rattle," while elsewhere the musicians truly do resemble an orchestra; a small string section adds an air of ominous grandeur to "Glossolalia," a mighty organ brings striking dynamics on "Everything I Say," a mass of harmonies and reverb-soaked guitar meshes gloriously with "You Are Never Alone," washes of sound ebb and flow through the atmospheric "Rustic City Fathers," and the ensemble rises into a glorious fusion of beauty and noise on "Debriefing" and "Marathon." On North Star Deserter, the musicians working with Vic Chesnutt serve as collaborators rather than simple accompanists, and they've truly brought out the best in one another; this is powerful, adventurous music that's as challenging as it is beautiful, and ranks with Chesnutt's finest work to date.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/11/2007
Label: Constellation
UPC: 0666561004620
catalogNumber: 46
Rank: 46954

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Vic Chesnutt   Primary Artist,Vocals,Casio,Guitar (Nylon String)
Chad   Electric Guitar
Guy Picciotto   Electric Guitar
Jessica   Violin
Silver Mt. Zion   Track Performer
Efrim   Piano,Electric Guitar,Harmonium,Casio
Chad Jones   Electric Guitar
T. Griffin   Acoustic Guitar
Howard Bilerman   Drums
Nadia Moss   Organ,Piano
Bruce Cawdron   Glockenspiel,Bowed Vibes
Tra La-La Band   Track Performer
Thierry   Electric Bass
Effrim   Harmonium
Beckie   Cello
Scott   Drums
Gen   Viola
Everybody   Vocals

Technical Credits

Nina Simone   Composer
Vic Chesnutt   Composer
Guy Picciotto   Producer,Field Recording
Jeff Mangum   Composer
Michael Ackerman   Cover Photo
Efrim   Producer,Audio Production
Eric Craven   Contributor
T. Griffin   Field Recording
Howard Bilerman   Engineer
Nadia Moss   Typing
Thierry   Audio Production
Jem Cohen   Producer,Liner Notes,Audio Production,Field Recording

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