Recorded by former Arcade Fire member Howard Bilerman at Montreal's Hotel2Tango studio, At the Cut focuses on themes of cowardice, courage, mortality, tenacity, defiance, mourning and memory. The opening track, "Coward," was originally written for director (and Chesnutt collaborator) Jem Cohen's Empires of Tin and premiered in a live performance by Chesnutt and his band at the 2007 Vienna Film Festival.
Reflecting the broad stylistic range of contributors on the album, the songs on At the Cut span the musical spectrum from classic Vic Chesnutt solo acoustic tracks to the sweeping walls of noise and snarling, angular guitars trademarked by his many collaborators. To be made available on CD and LP, the album's artwork features original and found photography by Jem Cohen.
In the 19 years since Chesnutt's debut album, he has made his mark by collaborating with a wide range of artists including Michael Stipe, Lambchop, Bill Frisell, Elephant Six mainstays Elf Power, Widespread Panic and the Cowboy Junkies. Hailing from rural Georgia and confined to a wheelchair since an automobile accident at the age of 18, Chesnutt has released 15 critically acclaimed records; been covered by a number of artists on the tribute album "Sweet Relief II: Gravity of the Situation" including R.E.M., the Smashing Pumpkins, Madonna and Sparklehorse; was the subject of the 1992 PBS documentary Speed Racer and appeared in the Oscar Award-winning film Sling Blade.