Minnesota nonprofit organization, Rock the Cause released on its own label Minnesota Remembers Vic Chesnutt on November 8, 2011, in partnership with The Orchard. Music critics and tastemakers are calling the 17 track tribute one of the finest releases of the year.
Georgia's late songwriting hero Vic Chesnutt made a lot of friends in the Twin Cities music scene early in his career, going back to his debut at the Uptown Bar when Soul Asylum's Danny Murphy introduced him by brazenly telling the crowd to, “shut up and listen”. Right up to the end, Chesnutt had a large contingent of fans among our songwriters-over-singers-loving scene. That much is proven by the impressive turnout for the much buzzed about compilation features Vic Chesnutt classics performed by Dan Wilson, Haley Bonar, Trampled by Turtles' Dave Simonett, Charlie Parr, Ben Weaver, Wendy Lewis, JoAnna James, Alpha Consumer, Luke Redfield and more. Dave Simonett kicks off the album with "Gravity of the Situation," a “had me at hello” type of introduction.
One of the compilation's highlights, "Soft Picasso" is performed by Minnesota native and Grammy Award winning singer songwriter and producer, Dan Wilson. Dan is best known for his work with his band Semisonic and for his collaborations with artists including Adele, The Dixie Chicks, Weezer, Mike Doughty and others. On Vic Chesnutt and "Soft Picasso": “I first learned about Vic Chesnutt from a friend of mine, a rabid fan. My knowledge of VC's music was limited to hearing "West of Rome" at various parties in the early nineties. But my friend patiently indoctrinated me into a broader awareness of his brilliance. I chose to record "Soft Picasso" because that same friend told me that it would suit my voice best, and he was right. I knew I couldn't match the world-weary cynicism of VC's version so I decided to go all the way in the other direction, in my direction. It's such a funny song; I hope I've done it justice."
Numerous organizations have benefitted from Minnesota Remembers Vic Chesnutt. Nearly $5000 in proceeds from the album have helped to benefit various organizations like, Lifeworks Services innovative programs for people with disabilities. Proceeds have also benefited Sweet Relief Musicians Fund to provide financial assistance to all types of career musicians who are struggling to make ends meet while facing illness, disability, or age-related problems. Proceeds also benefitt the general operating fund of Rock the Cause, to help us complete our mission of creating a new genration of volunteers and stewardship for other non-profit organizations.