How Bruce Hornsby Came to Play on Rocket House

Chris Whitley made music with a wide variety of musicians; his side work was extensive, ranging from Chocolate Genius to Cassandra Wilson, as shown in this playlist.  One musician I was surprised to discover that Chris sometimes jammed with is Bruce Hornsby.  Yet, as a review of Chris's gig at Kahootz in Richmond, VA notes, … Continue reading How Bruce Hornsby Came to Play on Rocket House

Chris’s Guest Appearances with Bob Weir

Photo credit:  CW by Peter Lorré at Parkpop The Hague in 1992; BW unknown   In an interview about Note of Hope. an album that Rob Wasserman produced based on Woody Guthrie writings set to music, Rob briefly discussed Chris's involvement: [W]e had just been playing with Bob Weir back in the day. I introduced … Continue reading Chris’s Guest Appearances with Bob Weir

Some Rare Bootlegs – One Original and A Few Covers

"As a producer, I'm really interested in interpretation," Street continues. "But most people don't even begin to put their own personalities into their music. Chris, though, has gone all the way through the blues and out the other side. He's really the only guy around who has that thing that Jimi Hendrix and Robert Johnson … Continue reading Some Rare Bootlegs – One Original and A Few Covers

Expenses and Revenues of a Representative Record Contract

Excerpt from Steve Albini, "The Problem with Music." The Baffler No. 5, December 1993 These figures are representative of amounts that appear in record contracts daily. There’s no need to skew the figures to make the scenario look bad, since real-life examples more than abound. Advance: $250,000 Manager’s cut: $37,500Legal fees: $10,000 Recording Budget: $150,000Producer’s … Continue reading Expenses and Revenues of a Representative Record Contract

More Heat-Seekers than Heat: Understanding Chris’s ‘Success’

In the United States, the top one percent of the population has over 15 times more wealth than the bottom 50 percent, as of late 2020:  "According to the latest Fed data, the top 1% of Americans have a combined net worth of $34.2 trillion (or 30.4% of all household wealth in the U.S.), while … Continue reading More Heat-Seekers than Heat: Understanding Chris’s ‘Success’

A Guide to Chris Whitley’s Gear 2: Acoustic Guitars

Chris played a variety of acoustic guitars, ranging from resonators - e.g., his most-often used Nationals and Dobros - to standard acoustics, such as those made by Martin and Gibson.  We are lucky to have a photo of Chris playing one of his first resonators, which Hiroshi Suda has identified as an OMI (Original Musical … Continue reading A Guide to Chris Whitley’s Gear 2: Acoustic Guitars

Mystery Gig: 1995-06-20

Here's an 11-song set whose origins are unclear.  I think that I might have downloaded it from one of those monster bootleg sites, e.g., Wolfgang's or the Concert Archives.  Both of those sites are notoriously lacking in reliable data, so it's possible that the date is wrong.  Further, there's no venue provided.  But it's clearly … Continue reading Mystery Gig: 1995-06-20

1995-08-04 Deer Creek Music Center (Indiana)

Here's a short set from Chris's Din tour stops for the H.O.R.D.E. tour at Deer Park Music Center in Noblesville, IN.  I think that we've finally sorted this out; it was formerly mislabeled as 1995-06-06. The person at the soundboard must have liked electric guitar front-center-everywhere! - Chris's guitar really stands out.  Enjoy!