Chris Whitley: Perfect Day

On Perfect Day, the startling, soul-baring singer and acoustic guitarist Chris Whitley is backed by drummer Billy Martin and bassist Chris Wood (of Medeski, Martin & Wood fame). This Craig Street production includes sparse, hauntingly mournful renditions of Howlin’ Wolf’s “Smokestack Lightning” and Jimi Hendrix’s “Drifting” as well as highly personalized, impassioned covers of Willie Dixon’s “Spoonful,” Robert Johnson’s “Stones in My Pathway,” Lou Reed’s title track and The Doors’ “Crystal Ship.” Brief at less than 40 minutes but definitely worth checking out for the fragile, compelling chemistry between Whitley’s swooning falsetto voice and MW’s organic, coloristic interplay.