We started hearing about this dude after he had already split town to Canada to avoid the Vietnam draft. Sad, because his ancestor Marcus Winchester founded Memphis, Tennessee, with Andrew Jackson way back when.
Unfortunately, there isn't much on YouTube of Jesse Winchester. Maybe I could have a little talk with the owner of his current label, a Canadian acquaintance of mine, about this. Three out of four of the ones I embedded when I wrote this post have been scrubbed. Let me see what I can find....
After Jimmy Carter pardoned all the Vietnam draft resisters, Jesse was free to come back to Memphis to visit family; and on one trip, he did a solo gig at Memphis' Brooks Museum of Art. That was probably the best one-man show I ever saw (excepting only the great bluesman Furry Lewis). You talk about a hard-to-get ticket....
Anyway, here's a (sort of) video of one of his early favorites, "Yankee Lady":
A fine art painter hippie compadre of mine used to love this one, "Black Dog":
Canadian Robbie Robertson of The Band got involved in producing Jesse early on, perhaps because of the richness of his vocal timbre and his songwriting. My painter friend also loved "Isn't That So":
I also favor "Mississippi, You're On My Mind" and "Nothin' But A Breeze." Yes, he can still do it live and is a fine acoustic guitarist.
"Nothin' But A Breeze" you ought to hear off the record, but I don't know how long this YouTube post will stay up.
Jesse Winchester became involved with members of what would later become the Amazing Rhythm Aces (Wiki bio) and on his 1974 album Learn To Love It put out the first recorded version of Russell Smith's "Third Rate Romance," which the Aces made into a huge hit a year later. Also on that album was another Russell Smith number, "The End Is Not In Sight," likewise made into a hit version by The Amazing Rhythm Aces (AMG bio) in 1976:
UPDATE: Thanks to a commenter, here's a ready-to-click version of a link to a bunch of Jesse's songs performed by him in one place on MySpace: http://music.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=music.Discography&artistid=1188