by Matthew Lawton
Chris Whitley Dirt Floor (Messenger) For those of you who have been waiting for Chris Whitley to return to the country blues sound of Living With The Law, your wait is over. Dirt Floor is an intimate solo recording in which Whitley plays and sings everything. Dirt Floor was plainly recorded last December in one day, with just one stereo ribbon microphone, live, to a 2-track deck. This recording process could be labeled lo-fi, but Dirt FLoor is pure high-quality. Whitley's rich, full voice can be heard loud and clear as he sings of his search while the angels watch from above. Most of the nine tracks feature Whitley with just his guitar, while the banjo is prominently displayed on a few tracks and the ever popular foot-stomp is the only rhythm section. Whitley hasn't sounded this good in years.