Ron Dann - pedal steel; Marty Hayes - bass; Dave Lewis - drums; Bobby Cohen - lead guitar; Jesse Winchester - vocals, guitar, piano
Jesse Winchester was a prolific and well-respected singer/songwriter in the early 1970s, but he is best known for being the most famous Vietnam draft dodger to emerge in the contemporary music scene. An aspiring singer/songwriter from the American South, Winchester chose to immigrate to Montreal when he received his draft notice in 1967 rather than stay and have to fight in a war he did not believe was justified. Winchester re-located to Canada and started making a meager living as a performer in coffee houses.
In 1969, he was introduced to Robbie Robertson, already one of Canada's biggest music stars and key member of The Band. Robertson decided to help Winchester, and was able to get him a deal with the Warners-distributed Bearsville Records, which was owned by Albert Grossman (renowned manager of The Band, Bob Dylan, and Janis Joplin).
Winchester released his first LP, simply entitled Jesse Winchester, both in the US and Canada in 1970. It received critical raves. Other albums followed and received similar response from the rock press, among them: Third Down, 110 to Go (1972), Learn to Love It (1974), and Let the Rough Side Drag (1976). But none of these titles sold in any significant quantities, due to Winchester's outlaw status. In 1973, he became a legal citizen of Canada, and it was not until President Jimmy Carter was elected in 1976 and granted amnesty to the Vietnam draft dodgers that Winchester was able to return home to the U.S.
Winchester was promoting 1977's Nothing but a Breeze, when these songs were recorded at New York's legendary Bottom Line club for broadcast on the radio. This show is historic as it was his first time being able to tour the US, and because of this the tour received considerable coverage. In the end, however, the soft-rock singer/songwriter scene that had launched the careers of James Taylor, Carole King, and Cat Stevens was being eclipsed by the advent of disco and album-oriented rock radio. The interest in artists like Winchester had begun to wane.
Winchester has continued to write, record and tour, and has stayed active writing material for other artists such as Jimmy Buffett, Emmylou Harris, and Nicolette Larson.