Sunday, March 10, 2019

Jesse Colin Young and Lyme disease - Q&A: The Solo Years Then & Now

[Jessie Colin Yong] dropped off the charts after the '70s but continued to perform and release new material, some of it quite excellent, until 2006, when his discography suddenly stopped growing.

Now we know why. Young had contracted Lyme disease, which he'd apparently had for years but went undiagnosed until 2009. The debilitating illness kept him out of the game and, adding to his woes, in 1995 his house in his beloved Marin County, California, burned down, leading to Young moving from the area he'd called home since the late '60s. He and his family, including his wife Connie, son Tristan and daughter Jazzie (all of whom are involved in the new album), settled in Hawaii, where Jesse tried a completely new line of work, becoming a coffee farmer.

Today the Youngs live in South Carolina and Jesse is back on the road with the assistance of Tristan, who leads Jesse's new band composed of musicians Tristan met at the Berklee College of Music.

Q: You wrote "Lyme Life," on the new album, about your own experience with the illness.

JCY: There's lot of ugly stuff that happens to you when you get Lyme disease and I do have some dark feelings, but I had to keep [the song] about what needs to be done.

Q: How did the Lyme disease affect your performing and your songwriting?

JCY: When I say in "Lyme Life" that "the shadow left with me," that's kind of what it's like. It makes you crazy. It makes you paranoid. It increased my anxiety level tremendously. Panic attacks. And no doctor seemed to know. I think I may have had this for 20 or 30 years. I got diagnosed in 2009, and the treatment was difficult at times. Luckily by the time my son Tristan was graduating from Berklee College of Music, I was starting to feel like I was getting better, and when songs started to come, I knew something would happen.

Lyme Life:

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