As a fan of the music of the late Chris Whitley, I was excited to learn that the documentary about his life and music, Dust Radio, had gone into post-production (view trailer above).
A Texas-based singer-songwriter, Whitley‘s music was a unique blending of blues, roots music, rock and intensely erotic lyricism. Desire and despair, eroticism and exoticism mingle together with love and death, poverty, spirituality, and romance in many of Whitley‘s songs: “Narcotic Prayer” (Weed, 2004); “Her Furious Angels” (War Crime Blues, 2004); “Made From Dirt” (War Crime Blues, 2004); and “Dirt Floor” Live in Australia, Spring 2005, with special guest Jeff Lang.
In mid-October 2005, after 30 years of traveling and playing, Chris Whitley, battling complications from lung cancer, cancelled the remainder of tour dates in support of then his latest record, Soft Dangerous Shores. He was estranged from his lover of many years and unclear of what his future held. I sat with him in New York throughout this time. The result is straight forward and intensely real. A sobering portrait of a great and widely forgotten about artist near his end; critically heralded and touted in the 90’s, now destitute and estranged.”
– Jonathan Mayor / Director January, 2010
The first three clips below are live videos of Chris Whitley in various venues – “Cool Wooden Crosses” (Terra Incognita, 1997); “Pint of Lotion” (Poison Girl, 1992); “Narcotic Prayer”, “Kick the Stones”, and “Scrapyard Lullaby” at the Rosebud, Pittsburgh, PA, May 7th, 1977 – the fourth, “O God My Heart Is Ready”, is an official video for ‘Din of Ecstasy’, 1995.