Chris and Trixie sing “Alien”

FWIW:  Just made the connection re this photo and the rare bootleg of Chris and Trixie singing “Alien” at Brownie’s, NYC, 1996-07-16.

Chris Whitley in Concert at Brownies - 1996
Chris Whitley with [ex-]wife, Helene, and daughter Trixie during Chris Whitley in Concert at Brownies

from Cree McCree-House of Boo (at a now-defunct website

Best Father/Daughter Act:  Chris & Trixie Whitley (Brownie’s NYC 1996-07-16)

Chris Whitley is the real deal, and the chance to see him make crazy-sexy-cool love to his battered National steel guitar in an all-too-rare acoustic performance made it well worth enduring the line outside Brownie’s to get into his way past midnight show. Stripping away the dense wall of noise of 1995’s Din of Ecstasy to pick the flesh off the bones only partially exposed by his high desert ’91 debut Living with the Law, Whitley transfixed the crowd with jagged-edge vocals whose loopy flight patterns were mirrored by a small blonde sprite undulating on the side of the stage. That would be Trixie Whitley: age 9, designated dancer, graphic designer of Din’s cover art, tattoo artist (of the lizard on Dad’s forearm, a map of their world on his shoulder and her signature scrawled blood-red above his heart); and – making her New York stage debut tonight – budding young singer.

After answering the shouts of “Trixie!” that greeted her appearance at the mic with a sassy “Shut up!” the plastic barrette-coited chanteuse added her no-nonsense soprano in two numbers that brought down the house. Even if you didn’t know Trixie lives most of the year with her mother in Belgium “a million miles from home,” hearing her unison-sing “you can see I’ve got a foreign friend” with Chris while they flashed wide grins at each other was enough to melt the most jaded downtown scene-ster’s heart. Ditto for their chiming chorus on “Automatic Love” (“is all I want”), which transformed Whitley’s world-weary plea for instant gratification into an act of pure unconditional love.

Look out, Liv Tyler! Here comes Trixie! I’ve already anointed her “Trixie Delicious” – the cool cut [which you can listen to here: ] with the Japanese clapping-game percussion on Kelley Deal’s fine new album Go to the Sugar Altar. Which I’m sending to Trixie Whitley ASAP. You go, girl!

Here’s Chris and Trixie singing “Alien” [Thanks to Hiroshi Suda for sharing the bootleg]:

For more of this father/daughter act – including another duet on “Automatic,” enjoy this almost-hour-long video of Chris being such a grand dad: 

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