Trixie Whitley @ Jammin Java, Washington DC - Nov 4 2012.
I really enjoyed a preview of Trixie Whitley's new album coming out this January. She is out on a short tour to get people ready for the sounds to come. For me, it was an additional treat as the live sound furthered all the versatile sounds on the album into even more exciting terrain.
Her voice is brilliant and the key is that she can flex it into power or restraint with crafty easy going shifts. There is both technique and emotional power present here. She plays some piano and even more guitar to do more than accompany these songs. Between that and exquisitely sharp bass playing and drums, this trio cooks up an amazing sound that hits the haunting netherworlds in between folk rock and indie rock.
She has played here before with Daniel Lanois' Black Dub (which I kept hearing as Black Dove, which I think makes a better name), so she has plenty of smart fans that showed up tonight. They were pretty enthralled for the hour long set, as was I.
This is great music and hopefully she can continue to tour her album in 2013 and find the many music lovers that would easily gravitate to this. I hate to predict big things... so I guess I won't.
Trixie Whitley @ Iota, Washington DC - Feb 2 2013.
I enjoyed seeing Trixie Whitely this past November at the Jammin Java and looked forward to the quick return visit to our area. I was again disappointed that her rhythm section did not make the trip and it would be a solo show tonight.
However, in this case, it was not as glaring an issue as with the opener as Whitley's lounge jazz/deep quiet rock music functions very well in a stripped down format. In fact, there are plenty of musicians who should vary things between solo, duo, and full band arrangements on record and live as it keeps things interesting for people on stage and the ones that came to listen.
She shifted between a couple of guitars and electric piano which kept things fresh and vibrant. Her guitar playing is sneakily effective as her deft touch and intriguing tones do far more than merely accompany her dazzling voice.
Unfortunately that dazzling voice was limited tonight as she was apologizing for being extremely hoarse. It forced her to tune down her guitars which did create an even deeper and darker environment for her songs. She still had a lot of excellent vocal moments as she soldiered on and only struggled with certain breathy high points. I doubt anyone complained as the large crowd was still highly involved with her music. My favorite was a duet with Jeff Taylor on piano which was quite magical the way they blended together with a great Patti Smith like rant in the middle of the cut.
Her debut album is now out and she is enjoying good crowds, good press, and at even less than 100%, she can still back it all up by delivering some amazing music.
First published @ dcrocklive.blogspot.com.
Photo Credits: (1) Trixie Whitley (unknown).