01. - Lyrics - Power down
02. - Lyrics - Living with the law
03. - Lyrics - Know you
04. - Lyrics - Phone call from leavenworth
05. - Lyrics - Cool wooden crosses
06. - Lyrics - Big sky country
07. - Lyrics - The new machine
08. - Lyrics - Clear blue sky
09. - Lyrics - Bordertown
10. - Lyrics - Narcotic prayer
11. - Lyrics - Kick the stones
12. - Lyrics - Weightless
13. - Lyrics - I forget you everyday
14. - Lyrics - Make the dirt stick
15. - Lyrics - Dust radio
16. - Lyrics - Can't get off (instrumental)
The Musicians and other credits:
Guitar/Vocals: Chris Whitley
All compositions by Chris Whitley 1986-1996
Recorded August 2003
Live two track MD/Dresden Neustadt
Mastered by Edgar M. Röthig/Helicopter Dresden
/ Press Reviews /
There's something both rock-hard and eerily incorporeal about Whitley when he picks and sings without studio prettification.
Here even more than on his other bare bones albums Dirt Floor, At Martyr's and Hotel Vast Horizon, his haunted voice evokes Texas
ghost towns, where the wind whistles
through the rips in the ragged flag and the
dark, jagged guitar sounds like something
hacked out of an abandoned mine.
He hasn't entirely turned his back on producers, studios and contemporary music (as 2001's Rocket House, with its synths and loop affirms), but when he does dig back into his roots, stripping down old songs like Big Sky Country and Phone Call from Leavenworth to their blues essentials, its's intense, moving and mesmerising.
Americana Record of the month in Febuary issue 2004
"Both the elliptical reveries of his lyrics and the push-and-pull tension of his guitar parts produce blues unlike any you've ever heard."
Chris Whitley captures heaven on Hotel Vast Horizon. Recorded in Germany with drummer Matthias Macht and bassist Heiko Schramm, Whitley distills the stripped, ethereal nuance that imbued his Messenger debut, Dirt Floor, applying just a bit of the spit-shine of earlier works such as Living With the Law and even 2001's Rocket House. Each song is dosed with enough hypnotic soul to render a listen rapt and unconscious (to be sure, the guy writes some knockouts). Whitley's spectral vocals and stinging, robust guitar and banjo work (who works a National like Whitley?) again transcend measure, leaving one to speculate as to who posesses the deed to his soul (surely, there has been divine, if not diabolical, intervention). These various talents comprise Whitley's actual gift: the avbility to transport an audience to a place of still beauty with ambrosial air. If it's not the heaven we're admonished to seek, then it must surely be the Hotel Vast Horizon.
Chris Whitley is a master of the National Steel guitar, a difficult instrument that (literally) slides between acoustic and electric blues. It's a description that also fits Whitley the artist, always caught in the distance between styles... He sounds more at home on Hotel Vast Horizon's set of quietly captivating originals. It's a spacious, dark album, full of understated tension and simmering passions, focused on images of desire, corruption and wanderlust.