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Scruffy the Cat was, basically, the band my high school garage band wanted to be. So you can imagine how I felt when I first met Charlie way back in the early ‘90s. He was friendly, disarming, genuinely interested, and even kind enough to give me some positive (and honest) feedback on the recordings The Eddies were working on at the time. And if that wasn’t thrill enough, he then sent me the rough mixes of what would become ‘From The Book of Flames’ and asked me (me!) for my (my!) feedback. This was of course long before emails and mp3s and comments-on-a-link, and it meant something. It was a generous, outstretched hand. I’ve still got the hand-scrawled note and cassette with scribbled label somewhere.

I’m sure I tried to play it cool (and probably even responded with some dumb suggestions), but the fact of the matter is that his tape was great, and it was clear that songs like “The Shabby Dress” were classics-to-be, and I couldn’t believe I was lucky enough to hear them before everyone else.

Since then, I’ve been luckier still to play on bills with him, share space on vinyl with him, work on the artwork for his records, and, on occasion, borrow his band. And more than once, he’s agreed to participate in our hare-brained schemes.

Thank you Charlie. Get well soon.

credits

from Chorus vs. Solos: A Tribute to Charlie Chesterman, track released December 1, 2011
Written by Charles E. Chesterman (Big Sloppy Kiss Music, BMI)

Recorded and performed by Jeff Mellin
jeffmellin.bandcamp.com

Photo © John Soares

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Chorus vs. Solos: A Tribute to Charlie Chesterman Boston, Massachusetts

Artists cover songs of Scruffy the Cat frontman & Roots-Pop/Alt-country pioneer Charlie Chesterman to raise money to help in his battle with cancer.

“Chesterman is one of the best American songwriters of the last 25 years.” --Alex Green, Caught In The Carousel
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