On the radar: Trixie Whitley

For a long time, Trixie Whitley avoided the guitar. Her father, the late Texan blues-rock hero Chris Whitley, had made the instrument his own and, despite showing an affinity for music, there were connotations with the six-string.

"I had so much resistance towards it for the longest time," she tells us. "I think it was part of me trying to rebel as a teenager.

The first time I picked it up, it was almost scary, because it felt so natural

"The first time I picked it up, it was almost scary, because it felt so natural. Even though I couldn't play, I immediately started writing a song. I remember being like, 'Oh no! Why is this instrument doing this to me?'"

Trixie's music has taken her down a different path, though. She's collaborated with the masterful Daniel Lanois and has developed a truly unique voice on the instrument, citing weird and wondrous "craftsmen" Marc Ribot and Malian blues band Tinariwen among her favourite players.

Unleash The Beast

Now second album, Porta Bohemica compounds it all - driven by her "Beast" '58 Les Paul and tweed Fender amps. Channeling her woody fuzz tones and an intricate, self-taught nuance into creating colossal ear worms, not least on the hair-raising riff of Soft Spoken Words.

"I love writing riffs," Trixie concurs. "When I come up with a riff, I naturally come up with a pretty big vocal hook as well, which is fun. It's nice to know that I can access that without looking for it, too much!"

  • For fans of: Anna Calvi, Daniel Lanois
  • Hear: Soft Spoken Words
Matt Parker

Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.