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June 15, 2024

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Chris Whitley
Dirt Floor (Messenger Records)

By: Geoff Melton

Over the course of his first three albums Chris Whitley has always shifted stylewise. Following the release of his beautiful, bluesy debut Living With the Law, Chris did a virtual 180 degree turn and cranked it up, resulting in the harder-edged Din of Ecstasy, then merged the two with album number 3, Terra Incognito. Now he's released what could one day be considered the jewel in his crown, the stripped down, intensely emotional Dirt Floor. Recorded on a two-track machine in a barn in Vermont, Dirt Floor is simply Chris singing, playing either acoustic guitar or banjo and tapping his foot, allowing his bluesy vocals and superb musicianship to shine without any studio trickery getting in the way. Captivating from start to finish, Dirt Floor is a stark, passionate and intensely emotional gem.
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