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Trixie Whitley — Fourth Corner [Deluxe Edition] (2013)

 Trixie Whitley — Fourth Corner [Deluxe Edition] (March 4, 2013)

Belgium Trixie Whitley — Fourth Corner [Deluxe Edition]
♠   Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Trixie Whitley is the immensely talented daughter of singer and songwriter Chris Whitley.
Location: Ghent, Belgium ~ Brooklyn, New York
Album release: March 4, 2013
Recording date: 2012
Record Label: Strong Blood Records 
Duration:     46:21 + 58:09 => 104:30
Tracks:
01 Irene     4:02  
02 Never Enough     3:40  
03 Pieces     4:38  
04 Need Your Love     3:33 
05 Silent Rebel, Pt. 2     4:43  
06 Breathe You In My Dreams     4:19 
07 Gradual Return     3:41 
08 Hotel No Name     4:12  
09 Morelia     4:49  
10 Fourth Corner     4:37 
11 Oh, the Joy     4:07
CD 2:
01 A Thousand Thieves [Live at AB]     5:33
02 That Power [Live at 3FM]     4:31
03 Never Enough [KCRW Session]     3:33
04 Breathe You in My Dreams [France Inter Session]     4:06
05 A Change Is Gonna Come [Oüi FM Session]     4:13
06 Strong Blood     5:05
07 I'd Rather Go Blind     4:23
08 Irene [Kid Koala Remix]     3:55
09 Pieces [Kid Koala Remix]     5:00
10 Danger Mind [Demo]     4:49
11 Need Your Love [StuBru Session]     4:03
12 Like Ivy     4:01
13 A Thousand Thieves     4:57                                                                                   ℗ 2013 Strong Blood Music
Credits:
♠   Jonathan Altschuler  Assistant
♠   Stephen Barber  String Arrangements
♠   Thomas Bartlett  Drums, Keyboards, Percussion, Piano, Producer, String Arrangements
♠   Brad Bievns  Assistant
♠   Dougie Bowne  Drum Loop
♠   Maike Burmeister  Assistant
♠   Greg Calbi  Mastering
♠   Ashley Capps  Management
♠   Sam Cohen  Guitar
♠   Charlie De Keersmaecker  Photography
♠   Patrick Dillett  Drum Programming, Engineer, Mixing, Sonics
♠   Mark Howard  Engineer
♠   Daryl Johnson  Bass
♠   Josh Kaufman  Bass, Guitar
♠   Mark Kelley  Bass
♠   Jacquire King  Engineer
♠   Yuval Lion  Drums
♠   Rob Moose  String Arrangements, Strings
♠   Ben Perowski  Drums
♠   Steve Salett  Engineer
♠   Nick Smeraskiat  Assistant
♠   Joerg Steinmetz  Photography
♠   Carissa Stolting  Management
♠   Trixie Whitley  Composer, Drums, Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric), Percussion,  Producer, Vocals
Album Moods: Ambitious Atmospheric Bittersweet Brooding Cathartic Confident Earthy Gritty Hungry Intense Intimate Literate Lonely Poignant Powerful Rousing Searching Tense/Anxious Uncompromising Visceral Yearning                    © Photo by Guy Kokken / guy.kokken@skynet.be / +32.476.250.167 / www.guykokken.com                                                                                           // ♠   Fourth corner. Physically, it’s where four states in the U.S. come together at one singular point.
♠   Symbolically, it’s where the four great rivers in China come together as one. Or, it could be the cycle of life during the four seasons of the year. For Trixie Whitley, it’s a metaphor for trying to find balance and belonging from the songs that make up her scintillating debut album, Fourth Corner.
♠   Whitley burst into public consciousness in 2011 as the lead singer of Black Dub, super-producer Daniel Lanois’ (U2, Bob Dylan) project, blowing people away with a voice and presence beyond her now-25 years.
♠   And it’s that voice: an emotional, blues-drenched instrument that ranges from a lilting slap to a knock-you-backwards uppercut. On Fourth Corner, Whitley explores the range of human emotion in another set of four: utter love, total rage, unadulterated happiness, and crippling loneliness. “It’s those elements of life I keep coming back to,” she says. “Both as a person and musically as well.”
♠   Recorded in New York with producer/keyboardist Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman, who’s also worked with Glen Hansard, Antony and the Johnsons, Grizzly Bear and the National) engineer Pat Dillett (David Byrne, St. Vincent, Mary J. Blige), and string arrangements by Rob Moose (Antony, Bon Iver), aching songs like “Need Your Love” have Whitley working from a spare beginning that explodes into a blossom dripping with pleading vocals and delicate piano. On tracks like the sassy “Irene” and the sinister “Hotel No Name,” Whitley lays down a snarling guitar line on top of scuzzy beats while her voice veers from defiant to remorseful.
♠   It’s a tantalizing mix of sounds that can come only from someone who says: “I’m from everywhere but have never felt like I belong.” Whitley lived a nomadic life: born in Belgium, she split her time growing up there and in New York but also frequently visiting family in France, Texas, and Mexico. Her mother came from an artistic European gypsy family, filled with musicians, painters, writers, and sculptures, while her father, renowned singer-songwriter Chris Whitley, thrust her into the world of music as a toddler when she joined him onstage in Germany at age three.
♠   After her parents divorced, she returned to her mother’s native Belgium and became engrossed in the arts: she played drums, acted and sang with several theater companies, and toured Europe with the renowned dance company Les Ballets C de la B and choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. At the same time, she became the youngest resident DJ at the Belgium Museum of Modern Art at age 11, spinning the likes of Aphex Twin and Squarepusher to old school Hip Hop, African music to avant garde composer John Zorn. “At first the Museum thought it was kind of a joke: ‘Come see our 11-year-old DJ,’” she laughs. “But then people kept coming. I couldn’t beat mix at all and I had to stand on three beer crates to even see the turntables!”
♠   Though Whitley explores the gamut of human emotion in her music, there’s a sense of fearlessness in her that is unwavering. She dropped out of school at 17 and moved back to New York and started slinging burgers at a local dive. Meanwhile, she ground out her own material in the city.  She learned piano, guitar and soon started playing solo shows, a preface to recording her first EP Strong Blood.
♠   With that EP in hand, she and her mother went to a music festival in Belgium where Daniel Lanois was playing a gig with drummer Brian Blade, best known for his work with Joni Mitchell and Wayne Shorter. At her mother’s behest, she thrust a copy of Strong Blood into Lanois’ hand and returned to New York, thinking nothing would ever come of it.
♠   “I went back to that shitty restaurant and it got to the point where I was going to ditch music and go back to school and get my GED,” says Whitley. ♠   “But when I got home that day, Daniel called. I screamed.” Lanois invited her to Boston to record. He was so blown away that he asked her to front Black Dub, working with Blade and bassist Daryl Johnson. The band’s self-titled album was released in October of 2010 and the group toured well into 2011, with Whitley’s voice propelling the group’s unique groove to ultimate peaks.
♠   With the Black Dub shows, countless solo gigs in New York and Europe, and buzz-building performances at festivals like Bonnaroo, SXSW, and Celebrate Brooklyn, Whitley has become one of the most talked about new artists of 2012. In November/December 2012, she embarked on her first solo U.S. tour, and currently continues to tour Europe and the US in anticipation of Fourth Corner’s 2013 release.
♠   “I’m psyched and petrified,” says Whitley in her archetypal wide-eyed wonderment mixed with a fierce determination. “As a songwriter, I want to go to places people don’t expect and with that is complete freedom of expression.” Perhaps that place is another version of a fourth corner: something spiritual perhaps, certainly emotional, but most definitely real.
Website: http://www.trixiewhitley.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/trixie_whitley
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/trixie-whitley/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/trixiewhitley
Press: Ken Weinstein
Agent: Frank Riley
Gen. director: Adrienne Butcher | contact@estuaryartists.com
Copyright © 2014 Trixie Whitley

Review by Thom JurekScore: ***½
♠   Trixie Whitley has played stages all over the globe, but she is best known, if at all, as the lead vocalist of Daniel Lanois' supergroup Black Dub. Whitley, still in her twenties, is a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist with the confidence and savvy of a schooled veteran. She's been performing in Europe and New York since she was a kid, in mediums ranging from music and dance to theater. Fourth Corner is her debut full-length; it follows three EPs that began with 2008's Strong Blood (produced with Me'Shell Ndegéocello and Dougie Bowne). She is the daughter of the innovative guitarist and songwriter Chris Whitley. Her primary collaborators on this self-penned 11-song set are producer/keyboardist Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman), and engineer Pat Dillett — both have lengthy credit sheets. There are a handful of other guests, including drummer Ben Perowski and Black Dub bassist Daryl Johnson. Lead-off single "Breathe You in My Dreams," with its brooding, elegiac intensity, sparse instrumentation, nocturnal effects, and deeply soulful vocals is an excellent introduction to her gifts as singer and writer. Whitley is firmly grounded in roots traditions — vintage soul, R&B, blues, and rock — but she invests them with a 21st century modernism that extends these traditions toward indie rock with intuitive production, wily hooks, strategic effects, solid lyrics, and that amazing voice. She peels the leathery scars off the listener's heart while bearing her own in each tune. Her slide guitar playing is clearly influenced by her late dad's (the barely contained feedback and distortion in the scorching rocker "Hotel No Name" and the lone National Steel blues in the moving closer "Oh, The Joy" are prime examples), but it's never the focal point; it's an elemental service to her songwriting, as are her drumming, bass playing, and piano skills). "Pieces," with its layered chamber strings and skeletal percussion loop, support the emotional tightrope that is her singing. "I Need Your Love" is a hybrid retro-soul with an infectious nodding rhythm. The jazzy "Morelia," is elegant but packs a wallop. ♠   The atmospheric title cut unwinds gradually, hovering and drifting on a shimmering frame with only her voice to ground and illuminate the poetic crevices in the lyric and shed light on the rumbling emotions beneath. Fourth Corner establishes Whitley as a sophisticated, mature songwriter and a passionate vocalist only beginning to realize her powers.
Artist Biography by Steve Leggett
♠   Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Trixie Whitley was born June 24, 1987 in Ghent, Belgium, the daughter of singer and songwriter Chris Whitley, which got her music pedigree going early. She was playing drums by the age of ten; touring Europe with various theater companies at 11; acting, singing, and dancing with Les Ballets C de la B at 14, and spinning as a DJ at raves and festivals before she was out of her teens. She also appeared on several of her father's albums. At 17, she returned to New York City, working as a waitress while she taught herself guitar and piano, and she was soon playing her songs at gigs. Bouncing between New York and Belgium for a time, she recorded a debut EP (co-produced by Me'Shell Ndegéocello and Dougie Bowne), The Engine, which appeared in 2009. That same year she joined Daniel Lanois' Black Dub band, along with Lanois, Brian Blade, and Daryl Johnson, and the group released an album, the self-titled Black Dub, in 2010. Whitley began recording a full-length solo project in 2011, but stepped back from the project for a time to tour with Black Dub. An EP featuring Whitley in concert, Live at Rockwood Music Hall, appeared in 2012. Fourth Corner, released in January of 2013, was Whitley's full-length studio debut. She co-produced it with keyboardist Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman); with engineering by Pat Dillett — both men served as the core of her band.
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Trixie Whitley — Fourth Corner [Deluxe Edition] (2013)

 

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