Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Chris Whitley 1960-2005

In a tough year for the blues, singer-songwriter Chris Whitley passed away from lung cancer early this week in Houston. He was 45. Whitley had released twelve full-length albums over the past fourteen years, the most recent being this year's Soft Dangerous Shores. Never one to stay with an established sound for long, Whitley developed a reputation as something of a musical chameleon-- from the straight-forward traditional blues rock of his 1991 debut, Living With the Law to the stripped down slide guitar & voice recording of last year's excellent War Crime Blues to the rather odd but lush electroni-blues of his latest venture. It was this searching, this sense of artistic adventure and risk that made him not only a unique modern-day bluesman, but a true artist as well.

From Soft Dangerous Shores (2005, Messenger): "As Day Is Long" (MP3).

From War Crime Blues (2004, Messenger): "Her Furious Angels" (MP3) and
"War Crime Blues" (MP3).

From Weed (2004, Messenger): "Big Sky Country" (MP3).


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