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Chris Whitley

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Houston, United States (1991 – 2005)

A man of rare poetic honesty, Chris Whitley (1960-2005) maintained a resolute musical integrity throughout his career. His 12 albums, ranging from raw-boned to lush electro-, had the thread of intense emotion and constant invention running through them.

Whitley was born in Houston, Texas. Though relatively unknown to the mainstream, he worked with many top named musicians throughout his career. In 1991, U2/Peter Gabriel producer Daniel Lanois and his protégé, Malcolm Burn, recorded Whitley’s debut album Living With the Law (Malcolm Burn also produced 2005’s Soft Dangerous Shores). In 2000, Whitley worked with Chris Wood and Billy Martin from the famed trio of Medeski, Martin and Wood, on the Perfect Day album. Others like Dave Matthews and Bruce Hornsby also appeared on 2001’s Rocket House.

Whitley played a unique brand of confessional acoustic and electric blues, mixed with inspired modern rock. His lyrics often contained overt sexual references and sometimes bordered on the surreal. An avid fan of jazz saxophone legend John Coltrane, Whitley was a master of the National / Dobro, made famous by many of the great Mississippi delta blues players of the 1930’s. Whitley also appeared in the concert documentary Hellhounds on my Trail - The Afterlife of Robert Johnson, with Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir, Fleetwood Mac co-founder Peter Green, jam band Gov’t Mule, and blues guitarist Keb’ Mo. In addition to recording his original material, Whitley has also guested on albums by Mike Watt, Rob Wasserman, Cassandra Wilson, Dave Pirner (of Soul Asylum) and Shawn Colvin.

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  • shitscud

    The sincerity of this gentleman's music is unmatched. It just goes to show real songwriting is not just about skill, showmanship not about arrogance... God Bless Chris Whitley.

    7 Nov 2013 Reply
  • ndiginiz

    .... and perhaps an unhealthy does of bad shit [ ? ] [ ! ]

    5 Oct 2013 Reply
  • ndiginiz

    a lyrical genius in-touch with what mattered most, him self!

    5 Oct 2013 Reply
  • firefly2811

    done some really great stuff. so under rated.

    21 Jul 2013 Reply
  • JukeBoxHero48

    Love him...!

    3 Feb 2013 Reply
  • nychtalopia

    Oh, Chris, after 21,000 scrobbling I wish I could tell you how much you have changed my life and my mentality.

    20 Jun 2012 Reply
  • soulfish

    More info about the Dust Radio Movie here: http://t.co/s6rcWyIo

    24 Feb 2012 Reply
  • soulfish

    Hey, check out "Dust Radio Movie" on google, this will be an amazing documentary about Chris Whitley ! They have a Kickstarter project ending soon to help finishing the movie, for those who want to help!

    24 Feb 2012 Reply
  • Osterdeich

    Amazing singer and player. Even when he did the songs of others he showed sophistication in the selection and taste in how he performed the song. "I'm in Love With a German Film Star" remains one of the best covers I've heard east of "All Along the Watchtower" by Hendrix.

    28 Jan 2012 Reply
  • DonPapi

    Nice, honest and swinging! :o)

    1 Dec 2011 Reply
  • NewMachineTat

    Rest in peace, my friend. It's been a long 6 years since you left us... Missed every day

    20 Nov 2011 Reply
  • PowerHour24

    One of the greats, and sadly unrecognized.

    24 Jun 2011 Reply
  • satskone

    http://lateoriadelleombre.org/2010/11/02/black-dub-2010/

    5 Nov 2010 Reply
  • Duddley

    "Dust Radio" is one of my favoured Songs. His music is "cool". Duddley

    30 Jul 2010 Reply
  • JukeBoxHero48

    Oh, yeah.......love him...thanx, Bo...

    6 Jul 2010 Reply
  • noddyvantinking

    yummy music man.

    30 Jun 2010 Reply
  • wastingtime112

    Chris was brilliant, I loved his music, and was so fortunate to see him perform live.

    28 May 2010 Reply
  • nychtalopia

    Thank you Chris, you changed my life.

    14 Dec 2009 Reply
  • awdunford

    The world is a more beautiful place with his music. We miss him greatly.

    28 Aug 2009 Reply
  • zhalli

    I send my love to chris where ever he is. Brillant Amazing all those adjectives superlatives. I wish Trixie would release an album soon

    2 Aug 2009 Reply
  • All 40 shouts

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