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Songcraft

This category contains 7 posts

Interview re Perfect Day (A-List, 27 Sept 2000)

In this 35-minute interview, Chris discusses his choice of songs to cover on Perfect Day, making frequent references to the music he listened to via his parents and to Rimbaud and insisting that he’s really just a clumsy guitar player.  There’s also a fairly extended discussion of Robert Johnson and a bit about his evolution … 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

Dislocation Blues Podcast

Here’s a podcast of Jeff Lang talking about how he and Chris Whitley came to create “Dislocation Blues,” including some tracks from the album, some bootlegs from shows he played with Chris, and a few hotel jam sessions.   Update January 4, 2017:  I found two more interviews on this topic today.  Both are audio … Continue reading

A Chart of Chris Whitley’s Tunings

  UJeffrey Pepper Rodgers commented that “[s]ome of the world’s coolest music happens when instruments fall into the hands of people who don’t know — or don’t care — what they’re supposed to do with them.”  Chris Whitley didn’t know, nor did he especially care, how he was supposed to play a steel guitar.  As … Continue reading

In His Own Words: Chris Whitley on Songwriting

One of the questions someone interviewing a songwriter invariably asks is “How do you come up with ideas for songs?”  Here, in the master’s own words, are some of his responses. “Chris Whitley Interviewed:  The Law Man Living with the Lore,” Graham Reid, Elsewhere 1991 “I love that rural blues thing, it’s like an idea … Continue reading