Citing Perfect Day as one of her choices as “undeservedly obscure albums of 2000,” Ann Powers (NY Times) described the album as …
… sound[ing] like a secret conversation with the psychic succubus that keeps this innovative blues guitarist and singer on the run. Classics by songwriters from Bob Dylan to Howlin’ Wolf melt like wax in minimal arrangements featuring the rhythm section of Billy Martin and Chris Wood. Mr. Whitley’s voice, otherworldly and immediate, reanimates each with new soul.
In an ATCW group comment, Billy Martin provided a bit of insight into working on the album:
Chris Wood and I played on Perfect Day: bass, drums and Whitley (guitar, vocals). I am a drummer/percussionist. Chris Whitley and I spent some nice times together outside of the studio. We both had girlfriends who were roommates, and they both worked at CBGB’s Gallery. I am now married to one of those girls. Long story short: Perfect Day is a classic record. Nothing like it. Because I was directed to stay away from playing a beat (what most people expect from drummers) , this enabled me to play colors and textures around Chris Whitley’s beautiful voice and lyrical guitar playing. I remember Chris as a very fragile volcano. he was always super sweet. I miss him and love him as most of you probably do.
You can access about a dozen articles here.
Craig Street explains the recording set-up [Producing Hit Records by DJ Farinella]:
H/T to Hiroshi Suda for sharing this interview of Chris Wood (of Medeski, Martin & Wood and the Wood Brothers), who played bass on Perfect Day and who discussed that experience in a recent podcast (listen to the full podcast here):