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Famous Like Me > Composer > W > Chris Whitley

Profile of Chris Whitley on Famous Like Me

Name: Chris Whitley  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 31st August 1960
Place of Birth: Houston, Texas, USA
Profession: Composer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Chris Whitley

Chris Whitley is a singer songwriter who has recorded albums on various labels. Highly acclaimed by critics and fans alike, he has a strong devoted following who continue to support his work. Whitley is an intense live performer and has proven very consistent with his studio recordings. In 2001, the New York Times called him "restless ...evoking Chet Baker and Sonic Youth as much as Robert Johnson".

Though relatively unknown to the mainstream, Chris Whitley has 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, who recorded bass and drums for the Perfect Day album. Others like Dave Matthews and Bruce Hornsby also appeared on 2001's Rocket House.

Whitley plays a unique brand of confessional acoustic blues, mixed with inspired modern rock. His lyrics often contain overt sexual references and sometimes border on the surreal. An avid fan of jazz saxophone legend John Coltrane, Whitley is the master of the dobro guitar, made famous by many of the great Mississippi delta blues players of the 1930's. Whitley also appears in the 1999 concert documentary Hellhounds on my Trail - The Afterlife of Robert Johnson, along side Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir, Fleetwood Mac co-founder Peter Green, jam band Gov't Mule, and blues guitarist Keb' Mo.

"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, 2001


  • Living with the Law (1991)
  • Din of Ecstacy (1995)
  • Terra Incognita (1997)
  • Dirt Floor (1998)
  • Live at Martyrs (1999)
  • Perfect Day (2000)
  • Rocket House (2001)
  • Long Way Around: Anthology (2002)
  • Hotel Vast Horizon (2003)
  • Weed (2004)
  • War Crime Blues (2004)
  • Soft Dangerous Shores (2005)

Guitar Tunings

Because of his unique style of playing, Chris uses many "alternate" tunings for his guitars. If you are interested in learning the tunings for some of his songs, follow the link.

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Chris Whitley