Jack White lives in my hometown. Instead of using Nashville as an escape, a place to prop your feet up and rake in the money writing pop country and pop pop songs for the newest meal ticket, he came here, rooted down and pulled together what must surely be one of the finest rock and roll bands in the world right now. The really strange thing is that it's not all about Jack White.
The Raconteurs are a real band. Not a side project and not a vehicle for White's undeniable ability as an entertainer, he is, afterall, a real live Rock Star in this age of no-hit wonders. A few months ago, at a Bob Dylan show at The Ryman Auditorium, he graciously accepted a crown from our wise old man of man of American music when he received the largest applause of the night-- three times in a row. This is the thing that makes The Raconteurs so special. They stand on stage as equals. Brenden Benson matches Jack's tight-wound energy with a quiet cool that Levon Helm might even admire. Four part harmonies, a cracking rhythm section, fiddles and warm, warm tube amps. They play music that we've all heard before but never this way, folded into each other and new.
The music walks that imaginary line between the ancient and the modern, the familiar and the exotic. Like confederate campfire music played by The Electric Light Orchestra with Sly and Robbie putting down the groove. Its plywood and duct tape and apple pie. And that is beautiful. I'm going again tomorrow night at, and the only thing I wish was the John Peel was around to see this new thing Jack was up to.