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The Salesman and Bernadette

Vic ChesnuttAudio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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MP3 Music, 14 Songs, 2001 $8.99  
Audio CD, 1998 --  

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Frequently Bought Together

The Salesman and Bernadette + Silver Lake + North Star Deserter
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 10, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Polygram Label Group
  • ASIN: B00000DLVY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #256,393 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Duty Free
2. Bernadette & Her Crowd
3. Replenished
4. Maiden
5. Until The Led
6. Scratch, Scratch, Scratch
7. Mysterious Tunnel
8. Arthur Murray
9. Prick
10. Woodrow Wilson
11. Parade
12. Blanket Over The Head
13. Square Room
14. Old Hotel

Editorial Reviews

The Salesman and Bernadette is a three-dimensional album, as bold as it is lonely. For this release, Chesnutt enlisted the backing talents of the 12-piece band Lambchop, who are no strangers to the country and soul that Salesman peddles. The songs weave into one another, bouncing from Motown to Merle Haggard to Van Morrison. The result sounds like a copy of Pet Sounds storming out of the house and drinking until it cries; the playing and production have to be heard to be believed. Wisely, Chesnutt withholds the money shot until Salesman's last two songs; "Square Room" is an astral take on the aching laments of George Jones, and "Old Hotel" is a midnight sulk into slippery samples and husky growling. It's not a disc that's easily appreciated on the first listen, but a few patient spins unravel something opaque yet shiny as hell. --Jason Josephes

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
An astonishing album - beautiful musicianship courtesy of Lambchop coupled with top-of-form Chestnutt means that this is music with longetivity written all over it. Vic can die happy - he's now recorded a certifiable masterpiece. I don't think I'll ever tire of it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Southern Gothic October 24, 2001
By Bryan
Format:Audio CD
Athens, GA is one of those southern artsy/fartsy cities that is a creative well of talent. It has that art house aura that draws attention from, but still protects against, the guardians of morals that inhabit the bible belt that runs through the south and the midwest. Vic Chestnut might have ended up as a wheelchair bound, bible thumper spouting hellfire and brimstone, but instead we get a man who can play a convincing role as a contemplative drunk that can pen a damn good song.
The Salesman and Bernadette is Vic Chestnut's sixth album. Lambchop is the backing band on this album. The collaboration is similar to the one Chestnut did on the album Nine High a Pallet, which involved Chestnut and members of the bands Widespread Panic and Cracker. Lambchop is an indie band out of Nashville that plays everything from country to the avant-garde.If you are familiar with Vic Chestnut's other work then I can say this is one of his more upbeat albums. If you're not familiar with Chestnut's work let me just say it is a somber album with upbeat moments. Think Faulkner... Tennessee Williams... Lush greenery thriving in humidity under weeping willows. Think of plantations past their prime and southern cities grappling with their heritage and changing times. Think bourbon and the occasional Valium.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars January 4, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Somewhere between Woody Guthrie, Victoria Williams, and R.E.M. sits Vic Chestnutt in his wheelchair, making some of the most unique folk I've ever heard. This original and literate 'concept' album grows on you with each listen, until Vic's sitting there in your living room strumming a guitar. Nearly every song's a mini-masterpiece, but I love "Parade" builds and builds until Vic's nearly rising out of his chair with the intensity of emotion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You Can Hear Vic Chesnutt's Soul at Work... August 7, 2007
Format:Audio CD
I discovered this cd at my local library 3 years ago. I remember it stood out on the shelves with its title that reminded me of Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" and its interesting cover art. I thought it was worth a shot but didn't believe it would prove to be any good because I had never heard of Vic Chesnutt before, plus as you probably already know, there's tons of crap in the music section of public libraries all across the country. Well, I was wrong about this cd. "The Salesman and Bernadette" is a gem, truly a rare find. Let's see if I can explain the sound: It's kind of folk, early blues (like Bessie Smith early), a bit Mazzy Star-ish in mood; for the most part (though there are other musical accompaniments), it's the sound of one man and his guitar on a cold night with a bottle of booze on the table nearby drowning his sorrows in song and solitude, slurring the words every now and then with the guitar chords running into each other -though there are often moments when the sound is so clear that I swear you can hear into Vic Chesnutt's soul and the stars too. This is a very personal-sounding album, like any of Elliott Smith's, and with the vocal expressivity of early blues records but with a very contemporary sound: a good analogy would be, Vic Chesnutt is to Blues as Amy Winehouse is to jazz: Definitely unique. You won't find another artist like Vic Chesnutt and if you've never heard of him before (and you like Mazzy Star, Elliott Smith, old blues records and you're tired of hearing all that crap that comes out of the radio, then I suggest you start with this album. This is my favorite from Vic Chesnutt and I love every song, especially "Square Room," "Maiden" and "Bernadette and Her Crowd." This is the kind of album that you listen to when you're by yourself at home, writing, drawing or painting or just sitting back and sorting through the turmoil of your own life. This is not car music.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A genuine near masterpiece August 21, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I've been telling people about Vic for years. One of the best songwriters around. This album continues to prove that. A wonderful, textural album, especially on the impressive "Mysterious Tunnel".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece which Eludes Description. November 15, 1998
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I received this record a few days ago, and I am simply blown away by its brillance. A sad, sad album perfect for late rainy nights with brilliant songwriting, unique instrumentation (which includes Lambchop), and excellent lyrics. "Salesman" is not a record for everybody, and takes awile to digest and understand. If you are a fan of good music and can appreciate it, I highly reccomend picking up this record. Just give it a little time to grow on you, and be aware that it will mellow you out substantially. You will not be disapointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vic does it once again! December 20, 1998
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
From Vic's first record, Little to this latest offering he's amazed, moved and brilliantly expressed emotions in song. Each song tells a story and each story is humerous, insightful, and delightful music. It's a wonderful CD and a great addition to his already amazing catalog. Vic Chestnut's CDs only slightly pale to seeing him in concert. Neither are to be missed while you still breathe.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Golden Chesnutt! February 17, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
If you are a Vic Chesnutt fan you owe it to yourself to purchase a copy of Pete Sillen's film about Vic. It's called Speed Racer.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Vic was in Touch with a Higher Power on this One
I recently came back to this release and though I always liked it, I'm now tempted to laud it as Vic's best. Read more
Published on May 18, 2012 by Roger Simonsen
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent introduction...
to the genius of Vic Chesnutt.

This is probably the most easily accessible of all of his albums. Read more
Published on December 30, 2009 by Paul S.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic
An album this good requires more recent reviews to enunciate it's lasting power. I hope more follow mine.

This album will always be one of my favorites. Read more
Published on March 16, 2009 by Corbin Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars who is this guy?
I First Heard This Disc About 6 Months Ago, I Just Had Read About Vic, Never Heard Him, But This Guy Opened A Whole New World Of Music For Me,His World. Read more
Published on November 4, 2000 by Bt
3.0 out of 5 stars the salesman and bernadette
i first heard of vic last year when i caught the tail end of sessions at west 54. i was hooked. i liked the real raw orginality. so i bought the salesman and bernadette. Read more
Published on May 24, 2000 by andrea foley
4.0 out of 5 stars Melodious Melancholy
In the vein of Waits, Chesnutt has produced a sombre and layered collection of songs. My personal favorites - Until the Led, Arthur Murray and Woodrow Wilson. Read more
Published on February 16, 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars Still going strong
It's now almost five months since my last review of this album. I'm up to maybe 300+ listens now. Beautiful, high art. Maybe the best album of all time.
Published on August 9, 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars OOOOO so Good.
Never knew of Vic before this album. It hasnt left my CD player in 5 months. I listen to it almost daily
Published on May 24, 1999
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