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Chris Whitley - Living With The Law

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Living With The Law

Chris Whitley

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Chris Whitley's 1991 debut, Living with the Law, was recorded in Daniel Lanois' New Orleans mansion and was produced by Malcolm Burn. The sublimely dark, creepy, and possessed collection sounds completely out of place for the era of slick pop/rock like Milli Vanilli. The tortured album is rich with old-style sounds, from slide guitars to pedal steel. (Lanois contributes some on the album.) Living with the Law has a full, ambient feel that transports the listener into the recording. Whitley humbly (and falsely) claims, at the beginning of the record, that "God knows it's all been done." But these 12 songs attempt an original look at an honest style and passionate mood that is lacking in much of rock music. Whitley sings of drug abuse, alienation, failure, and loneliness with a Delta blues flavor. Standout tracks include "Phone Call from Leavenworth," "Big Sky Country," and "Dirt Radio." Those who liked Whitley's Dirt Floor must own Living with the Law if they don't already. It is more of a full-band sound, but similar in tone and feel. An exceptional and mesmerizing debut, one with the potential to inspire all who hear it. (This release is also fascinating for those who enjoy Rocket House. Influences on the 2001 album can be heard throughout Living with the Law, released a decade earlier.) An album Robert Johnson may have recorded, were he still alive.
© JT Griffith /TiVo

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Living With The Law

Chris Whitley

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1
Excerpt (Album Version)
00:00:16

Chris Whitley, Performer - C. Whitley, Composer - C. Whitley, Lyricist - Malcolm Burn, Producer

(P) 1991 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

2
Living with the Law (Album Version)
00:03:41

Bill Dillon, Guitar - Greg Calbi, Mastering Engineer - Ronald Jones, Drums - Wayne Lorenz, 2nd Engineer - Chris Whitley, Vocal - Chris Whitley, Composer - Chris Whitley, Lyricist - Chris Whitley, Acoustic Bass - Chris Whitley, Performer - Daryl Johnson, Bass - Mark Howard, Recording Engineer - Malcolm Burn, Producer - Malcolm Burn, Mixing Engineer - Malcolm Burn, Recording Engineer - Malcolm Burn, Tambourine - Malcolm Burn, Keyboards

(P) 1991 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

3
Big Sky Country (Album Version)
00:04:45

Bill Dillon, Guitar - Ronald Jones, Drums - Chris Whitley, Vocal - Chris Whitley, Composer - Chris Whitley, Lyricist - Chris Whitley, Guitar - Chris Whitley, Acoustic Baritone Guitar - Chris Whitley, Performer - Chris Whitley, Bass - Malcolm Burn, Producer

(P) 1991 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

4
Kick the Stones (Album Version)
00:04:12

Malcolm Burn, Producer - Malcolm Burn, Mixing Engineer - Malcolm Burn, Recording Engineer - Malcolm Burn, Tambourine - Malcolm Burn, Keyboards - Bill Dillon, Guitar - Wayne Lorenz, 2nd Engineer - C. Whitley, Composer - C. Whitley, Lyricist - Mark Howard, Recording Engineer - Ronald Jones, Drums - Greg Calbi, Mastering Engineer - Peter Conway, Harmonica - Chris Whitley, Vocal - Chris Whitley, Acoustic Bass - Chris Whitley, Performer - Daryl Johnson, Bass

(P) 1991 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

5
Make the Dirt Stick (Album Version)
00:03:32

Ronald Jones, Drums - Chris Whitley, Vocal - Chris Whitley, Composer - Chris Whitley, Guitar - Chris Whitley, Lyricist - Chris Whitley, Acoustic Baritone Guitar - Chris Whitley, Performer - Alan Gevaert, Bass - Malcolm Burn, Producer

(P) 1991 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

6
Poison Girl (Album Version)
00:03:25

Malcolm Burn, Producer - Malcolm Burn, Mixing Engineer - Malcolm Burn, Recording Engineer - Malcolm Burn, Tambourine - Malcolm Burn, Keyboards - DANIEL LANOIS, Guitar - Bill Dillon, Guitar - Michael Brauer, Re-Mixer - Wayne Lorenz, 2nd Engineer - Deni Bonet, Viola - Mark Howard, Recording Engineer - Ronald Jones, Drums - Greg Calbi, Mastering Engineer - Chris Whitley, Vocal - Chris Whitley, Composer - Chris Whitley, Lyricist - Chris Whitley, Acoustic Bass - Chris Whitley, Performer - Daryl Johnson, Bass

(P) 1992 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

7
Dust Radio (Album Version)
00:05:08

Bill Dillon, Guitar - Greg Calbi, Mastering Engineer - Ronald Jones, Drums - Wayne Lorenz, 2nd Engineer - Chris Whitley, Vocal - Chris Whitley, Composer - Chris Whitley, Lyricist - Chris Whitley, Acoustic Bass - Chris Whitley, Performer - Daryl Johnson, Bass - Mark Howard, Recording Engineer - Malcolm Burn, Producer - Malcolm Burn, Mixing Engineer - Malcolm Burn, Recording Engineer - Malcolm Burn, Tambourine - Malcolm Burn, Keyboards

(P) 1991 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

8
Phone Call from Leavenworth (Album Version)
00:04:47

Bill Dillon, Guitar - Greg Calbi, Mastering Engineer - Ronald Jones, Drums - Wayne Lorenz, 2nd Engineer - Chris Whitley, Vocal - Chris Whitley, Composer - Chris Whitley, Lyricist - Chris Whitley, Acoustic Bass - Chris Whitley, Performer - Daryl Johnson, Bass - Mark Howard, Recording Engineer - Malcolm Burn, Producer - Malcolm Burn, Mixing Engineer - Malcolm Burn, Recording Engineer - Malcolm Burn, Tambourine - Malcolm Burn, Keyboards

(P) 1991 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

9
I Forget You Every Day (Album Version)
00:04:33

Bill Dillon, Guitar - Greg Calbi, Mastering Engineer - Ronald Jones, Drums - Wayne Lorenz, 2nd Engineer - Chris Whitley, Vocal - Chris Whitley, Composer - Chris Whitley, Lyricist - Chris Whitley, Acoustic Bass - Chris Whitley, Performer - Daryl Johnson, Bass - Mark Howard, Recording Engineer - Malcolm Burn, Producer - Malcolm Burn, Mixing Engineer - Malcolm Burn, Recording Engineer - Malcolm Burn, Tambourine - Malcolm Burn, Keyboards

(P) 1991 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

10
Long Way Around (Album Version)
00:04:26

Daniel Whitley, Guitar - Malcolm Burn, Producer - Malcolm Burn, Mixing Engineer - Malcolm Burn, Recording Engineer - Malcolm Burn, Tambourine - Malcolm Burn, Keyboards - Bill Dillon, Guitar - Wayne Lorenz, 2nd Engineer - Mark Howard, Recording Engineer - Ronald Jones, Drums - Greg Calbi, Mastering Engineer - Chris Whitley, Vocal - Chris Whitley, Composer - Chris Whitley, Lyricist - Chris Whitley, Acoustic Bass - Chris Whitley, Performer - Daryl Johnson, Bass

(P) 1991 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

11
Look What Love Has Done (Album Version)
00:03:16

Bill Dillon, Guitar - Greg Calbi, Mastering Engineer - Ronald Jones, Drums - Wayne Lorenz, 2nd Engineer - Chris Whitley, Vocal - Chris Whitley, Composer - Chris Whitley, Lyricist - Chris Whitley, Acoustic Bass - Chris Whitley, Performer - Daryl Johnson, Bass - Mark Howard, Recording Engineer - Malcolm Burn, Producer - Malcolm Burn, Mixing Engineer - Malcolm Burn, Recording Engineer - Malcolm Burn, Tambourine - Malcolm Burn, Keyboards

(P) 1991 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

12
Bordertown (Album Version)
00:04:13

Ronald Jones, Drums - Chris Whitley, Vocal - Chris Whitley, Composer - Chris Whitley, Guitar - Chris Whitley, Lyricist - Chris Whitley, Acoustic Baritone Guitar - Chris Whitley, Performer - Malcolm Burn, Producer

(P) 1991 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

13
Excerpts II (Album Version)
00:00:17

Not Applicable, Composer - Not Applicable, Lyricist - Chris Whitley, Performer

(P) 1991 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

Album Description

Chris Whitley's 1991 debut, Living with the Law, was recorded in Daniel Lanois' New Orleans mansion and was produced by Malcolm Burn. The sublimely dark, creepy, and possessed collection sounds completely out of place for the era of slick pop/rock like Milli Vanilli. The tortured album is rich with old-style sounds, from slide guitars to pedal steel. (Lanois contributes some on the album.) Living with the Law has a full, ambient feel that transports the listener into the recording. Whitley humbly (and falsely) claims, at the beginning of the record, that "God knows it's all been done." But these 12 songs attempt an original look at an honest style and passionate mood that is lacking in much of rock music. Whitley sings of drug abuse, alienation, failure, and loneliness with a Delta blues flavor. Standout tracks include "Phone Call from Leavenworth," "Big Sky Country," and "Dirt Radio." Those who liked Whitley's Dirt Floor must own Living with the Law if they don't already. It is more of a full-band sound, but similar in tone and feel. An exceptional and mesmerizing debut, one with the potential to inspire all who hear it. (This release is also fascinating for those who enjoy Rocket House. Influences on the 2001 album can be heard throughout Living with the Law, released a decade earlier.) An album Robert Johnson may have recorded, were he still alive.
© JT Griffith /TiVo

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