Jack White

TrackAlbum / Single
Two Against OneRome
Hip (Eponymous) Poor BoyBlunderbuss
Carolina DramaConsolers Of The Lonely
Fly Farm BluesThird Man Records TMR 013
I Cut Like A BuffaloHorehound
Portland, Oregon Van Lear Rose
Steady, As She Goes Broken Boy Soldiers
Great High MountainCold Mountain OST
Die By The DropSea Of Cowards
Freedom At 21Blunderbuss

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Contributor: Fi Stimpson

Jack White – his world outside of The White Stripes

Regular Toppermost followers will already have seen my previous contribution which solely focussed on The White Stripes. If not, you can read it here.

Jack White grew up with music – and a wide variety of it – in his life. He started drumming at the tender age of 6 years, and as a teen he really got to know the music that stirred his passion and influence for listening and later recording. Rock and Blues music (on vinyl, of course) were what he was interested in, and he frequently cites the likes of Son House and Blind Willie McTell as his major influences.

White’s first band was comprised of himself and Brian Muldoon, otherwise known as The Upholsterers (their job at the time). Jack actually later set up his own company, called Third Man Upholsterers, complete with yellow and black colour scheme and the slogan “Your Furniture’s Not Dead”. Remind you of anything?!

Talking of Third Man Records, it would be highly remiss of me to not mention Jack’s passion for vinyl, and for getting artists involved. Formed in 2001, it’s grown and flourished to levels beyond imagination. The likes of Tom Jones, Beck, Seasick Steve and Insane Clown Posse have all released records via TMR, and some pretty special things go on behind those doors which inevitably reach our eyes and ears in one way or another. Innovative in the true sense of the word, Jack’s empire is becoming rather immense in stature. One of my life’s ambitions is to visit Nashville, and Third Man Records will be top of the list as a day trip.

Where can I possibly start with other projects Jack’s had a hand in? His collaboration work? The Raconteurs? Movie soundtracks? The Dead Weather? That’s before we even have a chance to listen to his debut solo album, Blunderbuss, and get excited about his second upcoming solo release, Lazaretto.

 
Films

I’ll get to all of that, but first I want to mention the 2009 film in which White discusses and displays his guitar techniques and inspirations along with Jimmy Page and The Edge, It Might Get Loud. The start of the film shows Jack building a Diddley Bow guitar using a piece of driftwood, a coke bottle, hammer & nails and, of course, one string. He plugs it in, and off he goes in true Jack White Style. If you’ve never watched the film, then I suggest you do – it really is a brilliantly put together insight into the world of each of the guitarists featured. Jack’s first solo single, Fly Farm Blues, was written and recorded by White, Page and The Edge during It Might Get Loud, and was released as a 7-inch vinyl and digitally just days afterwards.

Two other films have had the benefit of Jack’s input. Cold Mountain (2003) saw him appear as the character Georgia, and he also performed five songs for the soundtrack. Ten years later, Jack’s cover of Love Is Blindness was used on the soundtrack for the remake of The Great Gatsby.

 
Collaborations

In 2004, Loretta Lynn released her latest album at the age of 72, Van Lear Rose. Its producer was none other than Jack White. At first, it was only meant to be an experiment of sorts, but it quickly turned into a full album and went on to be Loretta’s most successful album since the 1970s. They duetted on the track Portland, Oregon.

His next collaboration was with Alicia Keys when they bagged the theme song deal for Bond film Quantum Of Solace in 2008. The unmistakeable Bond tune, Another Way To Die, is a dark, edgy guitar riff, urgent vocals from both singers, punctuated by Jack’s drumming debut, all of which make this unlikely pairing a success.

2010 saw Jack working with the incredible Danger Mouse along with Daniele Luppi on their collaboration entitled Rome. Jack provided the vocals for three songs on the album, and he was an inspired choice. The music is absolutely superb, and White’s contribution gives each song that little something extra. I can’t even imagine the words sung by anyone else in the world.

 
The Raconteurs

A band formed in 2005, and currently on what seems to be a very lengthy hiatus (let’s face it, they’re unlikely to do anything else now). The Raconteurs are made up of Jack White, Brendan Benson, Patrick Keeler and Jack Lawrence. White and Benson had written a song, Steady, As She Goes, together and were inspired to recruit the other band members. Six years and two excellent albums later – Broken Boy Soldiers and Consolers Of The Lonely – and they all went off to work on other projects.

 
The Dead Weather

One of those other projects was The Dead Weather, the brainchild of White along with Alison Mosshart, Dean Fertita (of QotSA) and Jack Lawrence. Formed almost by accident when Mosshart stepped in with vocals for The Raconteurs when White lost his voice, things really started to take off for the band in 2009 when they released their debut album, Horehound. Two albums later – with the studio album Sea Of Cowards appearing the following year – and they’re planning on a third being released in 2015.

 
Solo

2012 saw Jack White release his debut solo album, which went by the name Blunderbuss. I think everyone is aware of Jack’s experimental side, but this for him was truly pushing all the boundaries. He could, for the first time, do exactly what he wanted to do, because it was completely his. The result is absolutely outstanding. He said he had put off making records under his own name for a long time, but it seems he chose the perfect moment, and that he was more than ready. Here’s my review of the whole album, if you’d like to read it.

So, what does the future hold? Well, apart from (hopefully) the 2015 offering from The Dead Weather, next on the cards is White’s second solo album, Lazaretto, due for release tomorrow, June 10th 2014. What I’ve heard so far has got me chomping at the bit to hear more (see Dot’s website – link below – to read her review of Lazaretto … Ed.). No doubt there will be a few live dates to go with the album release – that’s always a pleasure, too. The gigs are always no holds barred, intriguing, exhilarating and a true experience to behold. I can’t wait!

 

Jack White official site

Third Man Records

The Dead Weather official site

The White Stripes official site

Jack White biography (iTunes)

Fi’s toppermost 10 – “This is not easy, I can tell you!” she said – is in no particular order. She tweets from @musicvstheworld and writes about music and new bands at her website, Music vs. The World.

TopperPost #296

3 Comments

  1. Jerry Tenenbaum
    Jun 10, 2014

    Consistent and a major force in maintaining the best of what came before him with a diverse understanding of the music he clearly loves. I always look forward to what he creates in a way I have not since Dylan appeared. The only other artist that has my attention in this way is Beck.

  2. Peter Viney
    Jun 20, 2014

    I was in Third Man Records in Nashville today, picking up records, many fewer than I wanted because of the weight of luggage for air travel. Lazaretto was in USA Today this morning, selling 168,000 copies in a week, with an amazing 40,000 on vinyl. It’s the fastest-selling vinyl release in many years. They have a T-shirt on sale: “Vinyl is killing the MP3 Industry.” Most interesting is the display of specials: “Texas size” 8″ singles and 13″ LPs, the famous liquid-filled vinyl for record store day and so on. It has become a place of pilgrimage for music fans.

  3. Peter Viney
    Jun 29, 2014

    Check out the Lazaretto single. The B-side is a “Jack White” rethink of Power of My Love (from Elvis Presley’s Memphis album). I like it better than the A side.

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