Saturday, March 7, 2009

Pick of the Week #9: Chris Whitley

I couldn't tell you exactly why, maybe it was because I was listening to Ben Harper's first record Pleasure and Pain on Saturday morning (where his sound is a lot more Bluesy) that made me think of Chris Whitley. As soon as that name popped into my head I proceeded to rifle through google videos to see anything I could that had Whitley in it... and I'm not sure whether the videos - at least the live ones - really live up to the recordings, which is strange considering he's such an unbelievable guitarist...

I first heard of him when I was living in Korea (the good one) through NPR's 'All Songs Considered' and his cover of the Flaming Lips 'Mountainside' (which, I have since found out is on his first post-humeous release Reiter Inn - to be purchased by me momentarily). After hearing about him, and since I couldn't get ahold of any of his music, I had completely forgot about him...

So after reading more on Whitley (i.e. his wikipedia entry) I went out and bought Dirt Floor (since Living with the Law and Reiter Inn weren't there) and I've been really, really enjoying it. In part I think, because its something different - I don't listen to a lot of Blues - but also because its really good.

The executive summary: He may look like a more coked out version of Kid Rock, but he plays a hell of a guitar.

Sean, this seems like something you might be into... have you heard him?

A couple of videos, just to give you an idea...
"Scrapyard Lullaby"

"Hellhound On My Trail (Live - Robert Johnson cover)"

Pick of the Week #1: Ketch Harbour Wolves
Pick of the Week #2: Rah Rah
Pick of the Week #3: Glasvegas/Animal Collective
Pick of the Week #4: Bruce Peninsula
Pick of the Week #5: The Antlers
Pick of the Week #6: The Darcys
Pick of the Week #7: Ohbijou
Pick of the Week #8: Gentlemen Husbands

1 comment:

Gregg said...

Thanks for the entry about CW. Do yourself a favor and buy his first two CDs; they really had a strong impact on my feeling about what music can be. I came to know him a bit before he passed, having spent some bull sessions with him a few times when he played here in Pittsburgh. I was not as surprised as my wife was at how lucid and intelligent he was.
The "Hellhound" video you posted is quite special to me, as I was at that show (a multi-band tribute concert for Robert Johnson sponsored by the Rock and Roll Hall Fame). I was so pleased that he stole the show that night. He was a good soul and an amazing talent. I will miss him as both.