Sunday, January 10, 2010
Chris Whitley - Living with the Law
Love this album and it's always a go to when I'm not sure what mood i'm in.
Here's 2 from Living with the Law.
Big Sky Counrty
Phone Call from Leavenworth
Christopher Becker Whitley (August 31, 1960 – November 20, 2005) was an American blues singer-songwriter and guitarist.
Highly acclaimed by critics, Whitley achieved modest mainstream success, but had a devoted following. Whitley's style was rooted primarily in blues, but drew on an array of influences and was constantly changing. In 2001, the New York Times described his arc as "restless, moving into noise-rock and minimalist jazz evoking Chet Baker and Sonic Youth as much as Robert Johnson".
In fall 2005, Whitley cancelled his tour due to health issues. Dan Whitley, his brother, revealed on November 11, 2005 that he was "in a comfortable warm home with hospice care at his disposal". Later that week it was revealed that Whitley was terminally ill with lung cancer. He died on November 20, 2005; his brother, Dan, and daughter, Trixie, publicly announced his passing.
Although Whitley wasn't a mainstream act, his passing resonated throughout the music community and garnered coverage and press throughout the world, ranging from Time, the New York Times, and National Public Radio to a tribute mention at the 2006 Grammy Awards.
Daniel Delgado, Bruce Springsteen, Bruce Hornsby, Tom Petty, Don Henley, Iggy Pop, Alanis Morissette, John Mayer, Gavin DeGraw, and Keith Richards all count themselves admirers of Whitley's music.
"[When] Chris Whitley died...with him went a big part of modern American blues music. There aren't many fighters for the cause, and Chris never gave up on his mission. His somewhat prostrated place in pop culture earned him a sidebar of an obituary, but to those who knew his work, it registers as one of the most underappreciated losses in all of music." – John Mayer
"Chris Whitley, my friend since 1988. The deep soul he was gifted with is the soul that challenged his life journey. I will forever remember his beauty." – Daniel Lanois
Faroese artist Teitur wrote "Legendary Afterparty" (from The Singer) as a tribute to meeting Whitley.
New York songwriter Matt Keating, a neighbor and close friend of Whitley for several years, wrote the song "They Came in May," in memory of Whitley. The track appears on Keating's 2008 recording, Quixotic.
Peer and critical praise
"I feel more passion for his music than I do for my own. I have a fervent, religious devotion to the magic that Chris Whitley makes." – Dave Matthews
"[That] boy...plays like three men." – Robert Lockwood, Jr.
"The notable constant has been the quality of craftmanship, and the consistent question of how Whitley's combination of super songs, muscular-but-poetic lyrics, athletic voice and rock-god guitar work hasn't earned him a wider audience." – Detroit Free Press
"The post-Hendrix explosion of whammybar wankers hasn't produced a single axeman who can compare to Chris Whitley. His eerie, bluesy voice and American gothic tunes frequently draw attention from the fact that he picks like a pissed off Doc Watson jacked through a Marshall stack" – RollingStone.com