Trinity Sarratt’s intentions aren’t to pick a bone with anyone, but the flurry of her activity and CV build up speaks differently, even becoming a mother didn’t stop her from taking a break. Fact: Sarratt is one of the hardest working people in today’s underground rock n roll circus. An expatriate, a show promoter, and an international touring musician only summarize the outside of her life. Still, those experiences and moments lay proof she’s a woman with a global perspective on things. That’s not a figure of speech, too; this is a fact. Sarratt’s worldly life and viewpoints stemmed from an early relocation from the United States to Europe when she was 18, planting her family roots in Berlin, bringing performers from other parts of the world to clubs she organizes gigs for, along with visiting different parts of the planet herself while on tour with her groups (Kamikaze Queens, Cry Babies, Runaway Brides). Sarratt’s current chapter in music began in the early 2010s in the outlier honky-tonk world with her adopting the moniker, Trixie Trainwreck. Since then, Sarratt has barnstormed across the United States & Europe as a one-woman wrecking crew embodying a down-home punk n’ roots/R&B sound brought with a hardline blue-collar approach. She’s released recordings on Squoodge (“Hard Workin’ Girl” – 2012, Bound to Ramble -2015) and is now on the Voodoo Rhythm Records roster as an expanded unit after a chance encounter in London with kindred spirits, Charlie Hangdog, Bruce Brand, and Paul Seacroft. Thus, Trixie and The Trainwrecks were born, and 2018 brought their debut LP, 3 Cheers to Nothing, to light shortly after.
The first two releases from Trixie & The Trainwrecks hark far from the traditional Nashville sound. Their country/blues/roots trash sound has a built-in audience that crosses all levels within the underground rock world with songwriting on topics as reality struck storytelling of feelings, tough decisions, and such. Their third release on the Voodoo Rhythm label shows a different side of the duo. Six months ago, the touring core duo of Sarratt and Hangdog convened at London’s Space Ekho East Studios for the resulting Too Good To Be Blue sessions and reconvened before the virus outbreak for the “What Would You Do” single along with a melancholic take on Gershwin’s notoriously covered “Summertime.” Their minimalist approach works well with their sound as Sarratt’s one-woman band background has her holding more than half the role with Hangdog’s harmonica work, adding a desolate sound to Sarratt’s soothing voice over songs about hard luck, hard lessons, and hardening up. Production-wise, a Trixie & The Trainwrecks recording always has a live element to them as if they’re in the flesh performing in front of you.
Side A’s opening number “What Would You Do” is a classic template of the Trainwrecks sound. The booming twang ‘ groove beat of Bo Diddley includes meaningful lyrics that command introspection and ask yourself the hard questions all delivered in Sarratt’s soothing tone. The mix of Sarratt’s kick drum and acoustic guitar has a very metallic feel that goes great with the down-home feel of Hangdog’s harmonica work. Side B, now Side B is different, even for a song covered 25,000 times in its 85-year history. 25,001 shows the two pivoting themselves towards a somber, hazy rendition of the Gershwin staple “Summertime.” Hangdog’s harmonica work is the real winner on this 4:00 cut as it adds an extra layer of bleakness when combined with Sarratt’s playing and lounge-style voice. This rendition pushes their sound into psychedelic rock territory, something far removed from their usual music and shows their multifacetedness. It works, wasn’t expecting this from them.
Trixie Trainwreck and Charlie Hangdog, now you know. More importantly, you gotta listen. “What Would You Do”/”Summertime” is now available through the Voodoo Rhythm shop.