Don Messerli’s Blog |

An exercise in self-indulgence.

Chris Whitley 1960-2005

Wednesday Nov 23, 2005

Chris Whitley passed away from lung cancer this past Sunday. He was only 45 years old. My brother Evan first got me interested in CW by introducing me to his first album, Living With The Law. With its hard pounding tempos, raw and viceral lyrics and southern twang; it was refreshing when music had seemed to hit a boring streak. I would rediscover CW years later when my friend, Mark Stracka, tried to recommend him to me. I caught up with CW’s releases and enjoyed them all. When I later got heavily into Daniel Lanois, I was delighted to discover that DL had played guiter on Living With The Law.

Recently, Mark asked me if I had kept up with CW’s releases. Sadly, the answer was “No”. We both agreed that we needed to pick up his latest album. I’ll be filling in the gaps in my collection right after I get back from Thanksgiving.

I checked my email this morning to find the sad news. I feel, in some strange way, a loss. I can’t explain it and I won’t try right now.

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