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Dirt Floor

Chris Whitley

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Album Review

This is the most consistent and accessible disc of Chris Whitley's off-and-on recording career. The album is just Whitley singing and accompanying himself on banjo, guitar and foot stomp. It has a simple and wonderfully stripped-down sound that fits perfectly with the morose yet tumultuous mood of the songs, establishing a strong atmosphere that is almost as important to the work as the mood in a '40s film noir. This is an exceedingly short work, only 27+ minutes, yet it really shouldn't be much longer. If you were expecting Big Sky Country in sound, you will be both happy and disappointed: happy because there is the same stripped-down, nasal singing and story-songs, and disappointed because there is not as much dobro, nor a band helping him flesh out the tunes. He does an excellent job on the small amount of material here, yet it does not develop into anything due to the lack of time; at the same time, the tone is so very angst-ridden that the short length may work in its favor. There are no liner notes or comments for this disc. What is here is excellent in its own right and stands up as some of his best work; I just wonder if maybe another song or two might have made it a stronger work.

Biography

Born: 31 August 1960 in Houston, TX

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Chris Whitley was a Texas-based singer/songwriter who initially began his career as a bluesy roots rocker, but as his career progressed, he moved deeper into rock & roll and alternative rock. Though Whitley's albums usually received positive reviews, they rarely sold, and his tendency to rework...
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Dirt Floor, Chris Whitley
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