Chris Whitley

Today, I was saddened to learn that one of my favorite artists passed away on November 20th. I've been a fan of Chris Whitley's music since the early 90's. His powerful voice and unique slide guitar style (and boot stomps) blended country-blues and rock to create truly original music. Whitley was one of a few truly great songwriters. I was lucky enough to see Whitley perform twice, once in '91 and again last year. Each time I was amazed by how someone with such a humble and shy stage persona could belt out songs with such power and conviction.After abandoning the acoustic guitar about 10 years ago, I picked it up again a couple of years ago, albeit a resonator guitar, thanks to Whitley. After all those years, Whitley's playing still seemed fresh and exciting, unlike the omnipresent MTV Unplugged acoustic music offerings of the day. The resonator guitar has a cool timeless vibe, just like the man who introduced me to it.If you're unfamiliar with Whitley's music, I highly recommend his album Dirt Floor. If the album doesn't move you, you might as well sell your stereo. Chris Whitley died of lung cancer at the age of 45.