Chris Whitley and Trixie

 Some time ago, Chris Whitley’s (official site) name came up in conversation. I’ve been an avid fan of his, but came to know him not long enough. He was a musician, originally from Texas, mostly New York based, but with ties to Belgium, seeing his daughter Trixie was born here in Ghent. Chris Whitley passed away in November 2005, after his battle against lung cancer. Only a few months before (September, I believe), I almost had the chance to see him perform live his new album Soft Dangerous Shores (2005), but they cancelled the very evening, him being unwell. I really regretted that.

Just last week, I read an interview in the magazine HUMO with his daughter Trixie, and thought, what are the odds?

I had heard her on some live tracks of Chris, and on the album Rocket House (2001), where she was credited as well as DJ Tadpole. Now she returns to New York and is working on her own album. I checked her out on MySpace, and maybe she doesn’t like to be compared to Chris, but to me, you can clearly hear she’s his daughter. I just heard the track Undress your name, and her singing style is her own, I admit, but you feel a bit of Chris as well. That’s up for debate.

I liked Chris Whitley because his style of music and choice of lyrics appealed to me. Blues, guitar, eclectic and always that sense of restlessness in his tracks. Some songs seems a bit unconventional at times, cause as listener he could take you musically to where you didn’t expect to go. Which I can understand, is not easy to get into. I admit fully, not to have liked my introduction to his music. It took me several years to come back to the album I had received as a gift, to sit down and really listen to it. I maybe had to grow into it… or to grow up in some way. Musically. To appreciate it.

I do hope nobody considers his music to be country music. That would be a mistake in my eyes. It’s blues. It has a soul. And it has weight to it.


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