Published Sep 16, 2014It's poignant that the first song on what will be the final studio album from legendary singer/songwriter Jesse Winchester is entitled "All That We Have Is Now." We no longer have him in our midst, given his passing in April this year. A Reasonable Amount of Trouble features nine new Winchester compositions alongside covers of three of his favourite old tunes, and it's a legit release, not one of those posthumous quickies you often see. Produced by Mac McAnally, it features such notable guests as Jim Horn and Jerry Douglas. There's a nice musical variety here, from the fitting Cajun touches to "A Little Louisiana" to the sparkling lead guitar on the breezy "She Makes It Easy Now" and "Never Forget To Boogie" and the organ-filled, gently reflective album closer "Just So Much."
As ever, it is Winchester's warm and airy tenor and well-crafted tunes that take centrestage. The material was written while his cancer was in remission, and it is thankfully devoid of any self-pity. The three covers are sweet and nostalgia-inducing, though the '50s vibe to "Whispering Bells" verges on being kitschy. On early listens, his new songs may lack the potential to emerge as classics like earlier tunes "Brand New Tennessee Waltz," "Biloxi" or "Yankee Lady," and this album likely won't have the impact of Winchester's seminal first four '70s albums. Still, this is another worthy addition to a wonderful discography from a genuine roots music hero. Rest in peace. (Appleseed Records/eOne Music Canada)