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Musical influences

This category contains 7 posts

Tracing the Ancestry of “Gasket”

“And Gasket, originally my take on industrial country jug band blues, has an inverted Howlin’ Wolf riff.  It’s a modern greasy blues tune originally about how I never used condoms as a teen.”  [from Beer Melodies]   I have been obsessed with the Moanin’ at Midnight/Gasket connection since I first heard an unnamed track (listed … Continue reading

“Hellhound on My Trail”: Chris at the Robert Johnson Tribute

  In Cleveland last fall, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame held a tribute to blues guitarist Robert Johnson. Of the renowned blues, pop, folk and jazz performers at two concerts that weekend, Chris Whitley was the only discernible musical and spiritual link to the fabled bluesman. The powers that be could have scrapped … Continue reading

Chris Covers Jimi [work in progress]

  “Since Hendrix, there’s not a lot that blows me away,” Whitley said.*   We’re all familiar with Chris’s cover of Hendrix’s “Drifting” on the Perfect Day CD.  But did you know that he covered other Hendrix songs?  That one of the first albums he bought (with money his grandmother had given him for his … Continue reading

Musical Influences: Intro and Live-Only Covers

JJ Cale:  Old Man and Me If I had to limit my CW catalog to exactly one recording of one song, Chris’s cover of JJ Cale’s “Old Man and Me” for the Radio Bremen concert (2003-09-08) would probably be it.  Something about the guitar and vocal tone and syncopation of this track makes me feel … Continue reading

Musical Influences and Covers: Other Recordings

Also indicative of musicians Chris Whitley admired are those he chose to cover on Dirt Floor, War Crime Blues, and Reiter In, as well as his invited participation on two tribute compilations: The Inner Flame: A Tribute to Rainer Ptacek and Note of Hope: A Celebration of Woody Guthrie. On Dirt Floor Kraftwerk: Das Model … Continue reading

Musical Influences and Covers: Perfect Day

Composed entirely of covers, Perfect Day is Chris Whitley’s fifth studio album, reuniting him with Craig Street, who produced Dirt Floor. The album covers songs from musicians as diverse as Lou Reed (title track), Bob Dylan, The Doors, and bluesmen Willie Dixon, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, and Robert Johnson. Chris teamed up with Billy Martin … Continue reading

Musical Influences and Covers: Dislocation Blues

Doug Collette says it perfectly:  “kindred spirits in a sustained moment of inspiration.”  What better way to describe the magic that Chris Whitley and Jeff Lang conjured on Dislocation Blues. Background Jeff and Chris met when one of Jeff’s friends recommended that he catch Chris’ set at The Basement, a blues club in Sydney, NSW, … Continue reading