There's an unsparing fragility to singer-songwriter Vic Chesnutt's characters. They spend so much time on the brink of dissolution that they have their own table with a view of the void. The Athens, Georgia native is probably best known as the subject of a Sweet Relief tribute album, where a bunch of other artists — including R.E.M. and Smashing Pumpkins — recorded some of his songs for charity. (Chesnutt was injured in a 1982 car accident, which left him partially paralyzed. He performs in a wheelchair.) He released a couple of albums on a major label in the late '90s, but has since returned to indieville — which better suits his winding narratives. Chesnutt's most recent CD, North Star Deserter, features some dynamic arrangements that swell magnificently beside his plaintive voice, which creaks with the full weight of the world.
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