It’s an oversimplification to describe War Crime Blues as Chris’s “Make Love, Not War” album. But, originally inspired as a reaction to 9/11, the album does point in that direction. In a NY Times interview, Chris said
“There are things on that record that are trying to respond to war or that kind of ‘us against them’ aggressiveness…There seems like so much male aggression and frustration that’s trying to be expressed.” Whitley wonders if the underlying motivation for the war is not political after all. “I’m not trying to present answers or something with that record but I do feel that it’s bigger than just ‘Take their guns away’ or ‘Make their laws more reasonable’ or ‘Is it the heroin trade from Afghanistan?’ It’s not all politics. It’s something human underneath that motivates, that creates these politics.”
In another interview, Chris described WCB as “It was basically questioning my own internal pain about people killing other people but, in the end, it turned into a whole existential exercise about questioning love and mortality, not some topical thing.”
One of the themes I see in Chris’s music is that he often viewed sexual intimacy as deliverance and redemption, or at the very least a fleeting escape from life’s despair and cruelty. I think “White Rider” fits that theme. Stefan Thomas Lien, launching a WCB album week for the ATCW Facebook group, commented that “[I] feel like “White Rider” points in the direction he was heading next towards Soft Dangerous Shores.” Great insight, Stefan! In that sense, I link “White Rider” to “Fireroad (for two)”: “We could escape, a fireroad for two.”
Playlist of Live Performances
Thanks to Desiree McCloskey, whose excellent ears deciphered these!
When I go down to awaken
All below her private scar line
The rarest right of way
reveal to me today
I was always mistaken
Nothin but the silent storm
Now what she rode in on
Could contain the surrender tonight
Was it some manifestation or merely dislocation
led me out into the light
Oh I trail you White Rider
never be sure to find her
way behind to read inside
Always another day
Deliver rights of way
I’m always just behind her
5 thoughts on “White Rider”
does anyone know if someone will ever release his music on viny?
Only a few albums are available on vinyl, including LWTL, Dirt Floor, Rocket House, Reiter In. If you search the music resale sites (e.g., discogs), these vinyl releases are sometimes offered. LWTL is available from multiple vendors on eBay.
You’re welcome, Bob. We have collected over 250 bootlegs, so let me know if you’d like to hear one not on the LMA. I posted an updated list of bootlegs (may be missing a few that came in later) here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/allthingschriswhitley/permalink/2672761849605274.
Oh my goodness, Katie, that is one generous offer. I have all the LMA ones, even edited out the long guitar tuning parts, everything on YouTube and Soundcloud. To realize that there is so much more is mind-boggling. You do such a tremendous job, cannot thank you enough.
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THANK YOU KATIE, NEVER HEARD THE TIN ANGEL, GYPSY TEA ROOM OR CLUB ONE VERSIONS. AS THEY AREN’T ON THE ARCHIVESO, A PLEASANT SURPRISE. THANKS AGAIN FOR ALL THE WORK YOU DOBOB