Today is a sad day in Bastardland, I heard the news that Charlie Chesterman of Scruffy the Cat succumbed to cancer. Scruffy the Cat. a Bastard favorite was alt-country before alt-country was cool. Charlie himself had a distinctive voice, alternately droll and lugubrious, joking and earnest... sometimes in the course of one song.
Here's footage of Charlie fronting a reformed Scruffy the Cat in 2011, at a concert to raise funds for his cancer treatment. The sound quality isn't the greatest, but you can get a taste of Charlie's unmistakable voice:
Here's a younger Charlie Chesterman singing a slow number about unrequited love:
Here's Charlie showcasing his ability to warble on a cover of Del Shannon's Runaway:
For some really great live links, check out the blog of another big fan of Charlie... this live recording session at Boston's WERS, dating back to 1986, is a particularly good introduction to this legendary live pub/college hall band.
By all accounts, Charlie was a genuinely nice guy and loved to interact with his fans. My older brother, Sweetums, met him after a gig in a pub and had a good conversation with him. We lost one of the best when Charlie passed.