I’m still in quiet shock over Vic Chesnutt’s death. Some people have such an indelible presence that it’s impossible to imagine the world without them. Vic was one of those people.

Through his beautiful, incisive songs, the world seemed to blaze a little brighter. As Kristin Hersh wrote in her incredibly moving tribute:

I don’t think I like this planet without Vic; I swore I would never live here without him. But what he left here is the sound of a life that pushed against its constraints, as all lives should. It’s the sound of someone on fire. It makes this planet better.

A few years ago, my friend Giles wrote a wonderful post about discovering Vic’s music for the first time:

Arriving home, I placed the A-side on my turntable. A few plucked notes that bent upwards, a plaintive harmonica, and then the first line, “I dreamed I was dancing with Isadora Duncan.” I was smitten, and devastatingly so. … This, this music, this little song, was simple, sad, and crushingly beautiful.

Rest in peace, Vic. You are missed.

Kristin Hersh has set up a Paypal donation page to help Vic’s family defray the expenses associated with his recent hospitalizations and death. 100% of all funds raised will go to Vic’s family.

For more about Vic’s music, visit Constellation Records.

MP3Vic Chesnutt and Kristin Hersh, “Panic Pure” (live)