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: Perfect Day
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?