365 Days of Album Recommendations – Jan 11

Chris Whitley – Dirt Floor


I love Chris Whitley. I miss Chris Whitley. The world needed Chris Whitley. We had him for such a short time, and he gave us so much.

Chris Whitley was proof of what a National was capable of. He was proof of what the blues can become. Chris Whitley was proof of what a song can be. He was proof that music can be beautiful and brutal concurrently.

Chris Whitley crawled inside songs, and sung his way back out. There is an intimacy to even his most brash performances that is hard to bear for too long.

This album is almost impossible to listen to. It’s almost too intimate. Not intimate in an awful, twee, confessional singer-songwriter folky kind of way, but intimate in a here-stands-a-soul-naked kind of way.

Just live. To two tracks. In a barn. In Vermont. Devastating. National. Banjo.

Bruce Springsteen knew. He loved this album. This is Chris Whitley’s Nebraska. Or maybe Nebraska was Bruce Springsteen’s Dirt Floor.

This is such a fucking beautiful record.

Recommended track to start with: Ball Peen Hammer. Because banjo has never been this dark, or this cool.

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