Thursday, September 29, 2016

AMPEX Records: Quiet About It

Somewhere in the recesses of my “stuff,” that is if my wife didn’t get rid of it, I have a baseball jacket that Jesse Winchester sent me in 1981. I tested his record in light rotation, but we never added it to our playlist – and the jacket didn’t influence me to play the record or not, but it was a nice thank you for trying. Jesse Winchester was not a Top 40 kind of guy, but that didn’t stop Bearsville Records and AMPEX before that from releasing singles and trying.

Today’s cut, “Quiet about It,” was his second single release from his self-titled album on AMPEX – the fourth album release for the label. While Todd Rundgren typically produced many of the early AMPEX recordings, he was the engineer on this project. Robbie Robertson of The Band produced the LP and played guitar on it as well – you can hear his licks on “Quiet about It.” Levon Helm, also from The Band, appears on the album playing drums and mandolin. There were a whole host of lesser known folks who contributed to this record.

“Quiet about It” is Winchester’s spiritual search. Noting that there is a God and that he is lost, he realizes that he is being led home.” Winchester has his doubts, but he’ll be content and be “Quiet about It.”

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