Release Date: Mar 22, 2005
Record label: New West
Genre(s): Rock, Singer-Songwriter
As suggested by the broad and eccentrically cinematic sweep of his songs, Vic Chesnutt is a songwriter not afraid to think big, and many of his best records have found the tunesmith working with large-scale musical accompaniment, most notably 1998's The Salesman and Bernadette (cut with the Nashville chamber-twang ensemble Lambchop) and 2003's Silver Lake (cut with a full-bodied studio ensemble in the grand 1970s manner). Released in 2005, Ghetto Bells finds Chesnutt working with a much smaller but inarguably stellar combo -- master guitarist Bill Frisell, Van Dyke Parks on keyboards and accordion, percussionist Don Heffington, and Dominic Genova and Tina Chesnutt trading off on bass. There's no denying the skill and intelligence of the players, who lend both strong individual talents and an admirable gift for collaboration to these recordings, but this is also an album that sounds a bit more intimate than it reads.