Jack White Picks the ‘Best’ Country, Rock, and Blues Tracks
Jack White’s world can be found at Third Man Records.
by Walter Price
Strolling through the internet I stumbled upon a series I’d never heard of before. Dan Rather’s “The Big Interview”. An old school journalist interviewing some of the notable names in music? Sure, why not. It’s highly interesting.
I watched several but one I really got into was the one with Jack White from 2014,.undoubtedly to promote his stellar Lazaretto. The interview moves quickly through White’s history, touches briefly on Meg White, technology old and new, but the true highlight is the depths of knowledge and respect White has for the history of music.
Near the end of the chat, Rather asks White about the greatest songs in three genres plus which Jack White recorded song should be played at Jack’s own memorial. I found the tracks to share with you. You can watch the full interview down below to see White’s explanations for his choices plus a tour of Third Man Records.
Best Country Song
Loretta Lynn – “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin'” (With Lovin’ on Your Mind) (1966)
Just stay out there on the town and see what you can find
Cause if you want that kind of love well you don’t need none of mine
Best Rock Song
The Stooges – Fun House (1970)
“You, Out there. What are you doing? Do you long to have your mind blown open so wide that it will take weeks for you to pick up the little, bitty pieces? Do you yearn for the oh-mind? Do you ache to feel all right?” (RollingStone 1970)
Best Blues Song
Blind Willie Johnson – “Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground” (1927)
“Sluggish, raw and covered in static, the 1927 recording opens with Blind Willie bending and plucking the strings on his self-taught bottleneck slide guitar. Then, based on the one known photograph of Johnson alone, you can picture the blind bluesman leaning back in his chair, not singing but rather moaning, groaning and humming in response to his instrument with painful intensity. Even without words, the three-minute track articulates a lifetime of suffering and sadness.” – Ryan Pinkard
Song That Be Played at Jack White’s Memorial
The White Stripes – “Same Boy You’ve Always Known” (2001)
“”The Same Boy You’ve Always Known” is another high point. For a ballad, it rocks harder than most bands’ hard-rockers, yet it wrenches in its emotional impact. Jack White repeats certain key lines, straining his voice to impart meaning and feeling. Again, the state of the relationship in question is uncertain. The song ends uncommitted and terribly sad with, “If there’s anything good about me/ I’m the only one who knows.” How many bands have failed with entire albums of moroseness to only express the alienation of those two lines?” – Dan Kilian & Ryan Schreiber (Pitchfork)
(Jack White performing “The Same Boy You’ve Always Known” and “Entitlement” for La Blogotheque’s Take Away Shows)
The Big Interview with Dan Rather: Jack White
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