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Texas singer/songwriter Chris Whittington has released his debut EP, Bright Portal, a collection of melodic, guitar driven tracks woven with symphonic overtures and lyrics planted in the truth of Scripture. The musician collaborated on Bright Portal with fellow Texan, CCM pioneer Kemper Crabb, known for his work
with Caedmon's Call, Radiohalo and ArkAngel.
"My life has been a twisting path filled with surprises, but music has remained a constant," Whittington says. "Bright Portal is a collection of all of my musical influences so far in my life, including David Bowie, Kemper Crabb, Led Zeppelin and Caedmon's Call."
Whittington, who has shared the stage with Crabb and Caedmon's Call, called on Crabb to produce Bright Portal. The two met in the 1970s in a record store and became fast friends. Whittington and Crabb are both part of Colony 3, a creative community committed to learning how to think biblically about everything.
Crabb's influence is readily apparent in both the music and lyrical content of Bright Portal. From the opening acoustic guitar strain of "Sing With All The Saints" to the lush orchestral underpinnings that close out "Fill The Temple," the mood Whittington sets is fresh and contemporary, yet thoroughly invested in classic, traditional and even ancient musical forms. Whittington invites his listeners not only to experience the music, but also
to participate in it.
"Sing With All The Saints" channels classic Byrds' guitar licks with fuzzy, electric sitar-esque strings and beckoning mandolin, while weaving in traditional hymnody language to connect generations of worshippers to this compelling call to worship. "Coram Deo," literally translated, "In the presence of God," is a moody confessional, extolling the attributes of God while recognizing the shortcomings of humankind's sinful nature.
Whittington moves effortlessly into the lovely, Irish whistle-embellished, acoustic love ballad, "Love Again." Whittington employs a decidedly classic rock vibe on "Love Is Come," with straight-forward electric guitars, thumping bass lines and brassy horns to underscore the message that you can't stop love. Minor key strings usher in the reverential worship aria, "Fill the Temple," then Whittington allows the mood to swell through jucidious use of everything from solo acoustic guitar to vocal choral interludes and full-blown orchestra, and the result is nothing short of exquisite.
Bright Portal is already garnering accolades.
"Somehow Chris always brings a spirit of unity and fresh air to the table...'Sing With All The Saints' is all you need to love this collection! Deep reverence and melodic joy from a humble servant...My only criticism--need more of it," says Garett Buell, percussionist, Caedmon's Call.
"Chris Whittington's music flows with all the lushness of Eden, but remembers that we are still living east of there. Thoughtful, evocative and moving," says author and theologian R.C. Sproul Jr.
In addition to his musical talents, Whittington is a successful businessman. He is the founder and owner of Whittington Steel, a Texas-based steel company. Whittington and his high school sweetheart, Joanne, have four adult children: Lindsay, Lauren, John and Leigh Ann. The couple celebrates 35 years of marriage in 2014.