Related Links Bootlegs here In 2013, the group began uploading audio files of concerts to the Live Music Archive. The Chris Whitley Collection now hosts over 50 downloadable bootlegs. Blog posts and other goodies here The ATCW blog, a companion to the ATCW FB group, provides "articles" on various CW topics, hosts content (e.g., rare … Continue reading Quick Guide for New ATCW Group Members
For Chris Whitley fans, his seen-better-days National Triolian is the stuff of legends, an icon that immediately elicits images and sounds from Chris' musical career. A handful of fans even have personal memories of this icon; alas, I am not one of these lucky few, but I've been blessed by their sharing those stories. For … Continue reading “Mustard”: Chris Whitley’s Iconic National Guitar
Jeffrey 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 A Chart of Chris Whitley’s Tunings
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 In His Own Words: Chris Whitley on Songwriting
Stories vary regarding how Chris came to meet Daniel Lanois, who was instrumental in getting Chris a recording contract and supported him during the recording process. Did they meet when Chris was playing a NYC gig at Mondo Cane? One Sunday morning when Chris joined a friend on a photo shoot in a NYC park? … Continue reading Living with the Law: A brilliant debut, but the kiss of death?
This morning, I began looking for a specific comment Chris Whitley had made about how living in Europe, and specifically Dresden, had shaped his personal/musical philosophy. Because I have amassed what must be hundreds of pages of Whitley interviews, reviews, and articles, this search entailed an hours' long descent into all things Chris Whitley, … Continue reading On Being Baptized in the Church of Chris Whitley
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 … Continue reading White Rider
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
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
"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
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
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’
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
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
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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!