Entries tagged with: Jack White
Yesterday we found out that the world lost another great musician. Ikey Owens was out on tour with Jack White in Mexico when he died, and it was Jack White's camp who announced the sad news. Today they followed it up with this statement:
The coroner has determined that Ikey Owens died from a heart attack the morning of October 14 at approximately 4 am. The only drugs found in his room were a small amount of marijuana.Rest in Peace Ikey.
Ikey, born Isaiah Randolph Owens, was a GRAMMY award-winning artist best known for his work with Jack White, the Mars Volta, De Facto and Free Moral Agents, among others. He was a beloved member of the music community as well as his hometown of Long Beach, CA.
Ten days ago a video was posted of Ikey talking about his gear before a Jack White show at Red Rocks. Watch that below...
Isaiah "Ikey" Owens w/ Jack White's band at GovBall 2014 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Isaiah "Ikey" Owens, a member Jack White's band who was also in The Mars Volta (2001-2009), the Long Beach Dub All Stars, led his own band Free Moral Agents and contributed to records by Reel Big Fish, Sublime, Mastodon, Saul Williams, El-P, Crystal Antlers and more, passed away in Mexico while on tour with Jack White. Jack's label Third Man Records posted the following:
It is with great sadness that we tell the world of the passing of the incredible musician Isaiah "Ikey" Owens. He will be missed and loved forever by his family, friends, bandmates and fans.Rest in peace, Isaiah. Watch a live video of Jack White's band below...
Ikey Owens was an astounding keyboard player in Jack White's backing band. He also played with Mars Volta, Free Moral Agents, and many other projects.
Out of respect for Ikey, the remaining shows of the Jack White Tour in Mexico have been cancelled.
We will all miss you Ikey. You were and are an incredible artist.
Jack White at Governors Ball 2014 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Jack White, who spoke about his disappointment with sexism in the music industry in a recent interview, has tour dates coming up including two just-announced arena shows happening in January. Those happen in Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on January 28 and NYC's Madison Square Garden on January 30. It'll be the first time he headlines MSG as a solo artist, but he did play in '07 with The White Stripes. Tickets for the MSG show go on sale Friday (10/10) at noon with AmEx, Chase and venue presales starting Thursday (10/9) at 10 AM. There will also be a presale available to Vault members for both arena shows starting Tuesday (10/7) at 10 AM local time.
All dates are listed below...
Neil Young at Farm Aid 2013 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
The 2014 Farm Aid Concert happens on September 13 in Raleigh, NC. As usual, the Farm Aid founders Neil Young, Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp are playing, and this year's also includes Jack White as a headliner. Also on the bill is Farm Aid board member Dave Matthews, as well as Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Jamey Johnson, Delta Rae, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Carlene Carter, Pegi Young & The Survivors, and Insects vs Robots. Tickets are on presale now.
by Ian Chainey
King of the unibrow, Wally Moon. Your move, Anthony Davis
MLB's All-Star Game -- henceforth known as the Derek Jeter Invitational -- is in the rearview mirror and divisional battles are heating up. So, even if you're in Anthony Rendon's camp and can't stomach America's pastime, know that it's an exciting time for fans. Some fans. Jack White isn't exactly thrilled to be catching the Cubs. But, hey, suffering through a (mercifully demoted) Mike Olt plate appearance will do that to a human. At least Eddie Vedder looked chipper. Hopefully he'll be in good spirits again when he sings "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" at tonight's (7/24) Cubs-Padres game.
Of course, those two aren't the only ones with a baseball jones. The supergroup The Baseball Project, featuring members of The Dream Syndicate and R.E.M., are in the middle of their tour which hit New Windsor, NY's Storm King and Hudson, NY's Club Helsinki earlier this week. The tour (check out all dates listed below) brings them to NYC on August 2 at Rough Trade, and to Rochester for a free show with Lucero even sooner. They'll also be playing the home of the Hall of Fame, Cooperstown, New York, the day before Brooklyn on August 1. That particular date should've set up a heck of a weekend in Cooperstown, with Paul Simon headlining the Hall of Fame Gala on August 2. Unfortunately, you're out of luck, as the gala has been canceled. Cliff Lee supplies the appropriate reaction for that one.
If you're looking for some baseball-themed tunes with more heft, Puig Destroyer grinds out blasts with the wild spirit of their namesake, Dodger lightning rod Yasiel Puig. The band -- which is something of a supergroup, counting members of Curl Up and Die, Kowloon Walled City and Thrice within the lineup -- made the Heavy Lowdown DL last week after their drummer caught a fastball to the face. Uh, ow. You can check out their 2013 release Wait for Spring below.
In related quick hits, Modern Baseball (nothing to actually do with baseball) will be touring again in September. Their run with Beach Slang hits Brooklyn Night Bazaar on September 5 with Chumped, and Crow Bait (free). And, finally, a minor league team in South Carolina decided to reprise Disco Demolition Night -- because the first one worked out so well -- with Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus albums and knickknacks. This one was dubbed Disco Demolition 2: You Better Belieb It and there's video below if you want two more minutes to regret when you're laid out on your death bed. (No word if Rivers Cuomo made it there.) Old Hoss Radbourn is probably not amused.
Streams from the Baseball Project (and their tour dates), Puig Destroyer, and Modern Baseball, and the Disco Demolition video, appear below...
(pic via @mobute)
If you watched yesterday's Cubs-Padres game on TV, you may have seen Jack White in the stands. That Cubs jersey almost fits in with Lazaretto's sapphire color scheme, with a bit of the old White Stripes palette in there too. While he probably had a good time, the screencap above could inspire Sad Keanu-like memes. (UPDATE: It has already.)The ever-fact-filled announcer notes "his new record is really really good" and also recommends It Might Get Loud, the documentary with White, The Edge and Jimmy Page. Eddie Vedder was there too and this is part of a "3 ballparks in 3 days" run for White.
Watch a clip (via CoS) of the Cubs game, and check out a pic with Vedder, below.
Jack White at Bonnaroo 2014 (photo by Brian Mansfield)
As always, legacy acts enjoyed a good showing at the festival. Elton John played the entire first side of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, gave a tribute to the late Casey Kasem, and brought out Ben Folds for a guest spot. Ben had also appeared a day earlier with The Flaming Lips during their set to cover Usher's "Love In This Club" (video below), a set which included Wayne Coyne playfully throwing some shade at Kanye's set from earlier in the festival, asking the crowd "Where's the press?"
Lionel Richie played a set that included everything from his time in the Commodores ("Brick House") to "All Night Long" to his Diana Ross collaboration "Endless Love." More legends graced the Bonnaroo stages when Chaka Khan made a surprise appearance during the Derek Trucks-led SuperJam on Friday and covered Led Zeppelin and Stevie Wonder. Also in that jam were blues legend Taj Mahal, Anthony Hamilton and once again, Ben Folds. Led Zeppelin member John Paul Jones himself appeared at the festival to sit in with bluesman Seasick Steve, which he has done before with Jack White.
Jack White, who we also just caught at Governors Ball, didn't play with John Paul Jones this time, but he did play his own set which included a cover of Zeppelin's "The Lemon Song." It also included calling Rolling Stone a "tabloid," ranting about Johnny Depp and Albert Einstein (watch out Kanye!), and otherwise him rocking out to cuts from his solo albums, Raconteurs, White Stripes, The Dead Weather, and a cover of Dick Dale's "Misirlou." Video and setlist from Jack's set, below.
Damon Albarn w/ De La Soul at Bonnaroo 2014 (photo by 97X)
Skrillex led a SuperJam too which involved Janelle Monáe, A$AP Ferg, Warpaint, Doors guitarist Robby Krieger, Mystikal, Damian Marley, and Thundercat, among others. The set was closed by none other than Ms. Lauryn Hill, who played "Killing Me Softly" a la Fugees, Bob Marley's "Jamming" (though not with Damian) and more. More old school big guns came out during Damon Albarn's set, which was split between Gorillaz, Blur, The Good the Bad & the Queen and solo material. De La Soul joined him for "Feel Good Inc." and Del The Funkee Homosapien for "Clint Eastwood", Setlist and videos are below, and check out pictures and more from his recent Irving Plaza show.
Elsewhere, Omar Souleyman, who couldn't make it to Northside Festival experienced no travel issues and played a set on Thursday night. James Blake also played and told Billboard while he was there that his new album is halfway done and will include collaborations with Kanye West, Justin Vernon and more. Arctic Monkeys, who were covered twice during the festival (by Sam Smith and MS MR), played their own set too and to a HUGE crowd, heavy on the AM stuff but with a little bit of their other four albums mixed in. What didn't happen, unfortunately, was the set by Broad City's stars that were supposed to perform in the Comedy Theatre but canceled their set.
Of course the huge festival had tons of other highlights too. Did you go? What were yours?
Videos and a few setlists from the fest, below...
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
It was 2001 all over again at Governors Ball this weekend as Jack White played White Stripes songs on Saturday, the same day The Strokes co-headlined and one day before Interpol played. Another set of pictures and the setlist from Jack's performance are in this post.
Meanwhile, Newport Folk Festival is already sold out, but the July Rhode Island fest announced today that they've added Jack White to the 2014 lineup! Newport's Jay Sweet writes:
When George Wein asked me to come aboard I immediately compiled my list of every artist that for some reason or another has not played Newport Folk but should. It's always a pleasure to cross off a name, especially as there are so few left on the original list. In fact the elusive handful remaining have become known around the office as the "White Whales".We also just caught Jack, whose new album Lazaretto is out this week, at Free Press Summer Fest.
During that same first meeting, George also asked me what we could do to help bring the blues back to Newport in a meaningful and explosive way, something that would tie Newport's history with Bukka White, Mississippi John Hurt, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Skip James and of course Son House to the present. I circled a name atop the list and answered, "Jack White".
It was an easy answer as I had just seen the great film "It Might Get Loud" in which Mr. White sits alone listening to a Son House record.
Listening to the haunting "Grinnin' In Your Face", Mr. White muses, "By the time I was about 18 somebody played me Son House, that was it for me. This spoke to me in 1,000 different ways. I didn't know that you could do that just singing and clapping and it meant everything, it meant everything about rock and roll, everything about expression, creativity and art. One man against the world, and one song. That's my favorite song, still is too. I heard everything disappearing, it didn't matter that he was clapping off time, it didn't matter that there was no instruments being played, all that mattered was the attitude of the song."
I knew right then he was the answer and he had to come to Newport Folk.
It's only taken six years, but it is my distinct pleasure to cross another "White Whale" off our list. In 1967 at Newport, Son House brought his version of the B-L-U-S-E; now 47 years later, we can't wait to bring some explosive blues back to the festival. Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome Jack White.
- JAY SWEET
Producer, Newport Folk Festival
More tour dates, pictures and the setlist from Randall's Island, and the new video for the new album's title track, below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Spoon / Jack White / crowd
NYC's 2014 Governors Ball music festival continued on Randall's Island yesterday (6/7) after kicking off on Friday. Saturday included sets from Jack White, Skrillex, Spoon, The Strokes (including Comedown Machine material for their second time and an encore of "New York City Cops"), Disclosure, Broken Bells, Chance the Rapper, Classixx, Lucius, Deafheaven, Tanlines, RJD2, Diarrhea Planet and more. A set of day 2 pictures are in this post (plus more coming soon). Strokes pictures are HERE.
Black Keys "live on Letterman" (more by Ryan Barkan)
With the release of their new album, Turn Blue, The Black Keys will be spending the rest of 2014 on tour, including a stop at Brooklyn's Barclays Center on September 24. That show is not sold out, but a second Barclays date has been added, happening the day before (9/23) with Cage the Elephant opening both shows. Tickets for the new Barclays Center date go on sale Friday (6/6) at noon, with Facebook/Live Nation/Venue presales starting Thursday (6/5) at 10 AM
In other news, Jack White took some jabs at The Black Keys (not the first time) in the new issue of Rolling Stone:
There are kids at school who dress like everybody else, because they don't know what to do, and there are musicians like that, too. I'll hear TV commercials where the music's ripping off sounds of mine, to the point I think it's me. Half the time, it's the Black Keys. The other half, it's a sound-alike song because they couldn't license one of mine. There's a whole world that's totally fine with the watered-down version of the original.After the story hit the internet, Jack then apologized in a lengthy statement on his website that concludes with:
Anyone who can get people to pay attention for more than a second with musical notes in this age, or any age for that matter, deserves credit and applause. Thank you for reading all of this and I hope that the nonsense started by lawyers and strangers to me and perpetuated by tabloid journalism can be left behind, and all of the musicians can move forward in positivity. So, God bless the Black Keys, Danger Mouse, Adele, Meg White, and anyone else I've spoken about, and thank you for understanding. Good fortune to all of them, and I'm sorry for my statements hurting anyone.The Black Keys' Patrick Carney also offered a response to Jack in an interview with The Tennessean: "I've learned over the last year, especially the last couple months, sometimes it's best to shut the (expletive) up and let someone else dig the hole for once."
Read Jack's whole statement, along with updated Black Keys tour schedule, below...
Jack White, who's touring soon and hitting NYC for Governors Ball, just released another new song from his upcoming album, Lazaretto (due out 6/10 via Third Man). It's called "Just One Drink" and can be listened to, via Rolling Stone, below...
How much would you pay?
Of all the Record Store Day 2014 exclusives, the one now going for the most dough on the internet is Jack White's "Lazaretto" -- aka the "World's Fastest Released Record" which was recorded live, mastered and pressed in about three hours on Saturday (4/19). One copy already sold for a whopping $649.99 on eBay. If you just want to hear the thing, White has put it on YouTube and you can listen to that -- and watch a making-of video and check out the tracklist to his new album -- below.
Other profitable RSD14 flips were the Mudhoney Live at KEXP test pressing ($500); the R.E.M. Unplugged Box set (going for around $200), and the eight-LP Cake box set (averaging around $400 so it breaks down to $50 per LP).
Stream Jack White's "Lazaretto" RSD single below...
Jack White at Roseland in 2012 (more by David Andrako)
Jack White, who's attempting to break a world record on Record Store Day and releasing a new album this year, has announced that he'll tour North America around the album's release. Select dates will be opened by Kelley Stoltz, and others by Benjamin Booker. There's no NYC club date of this tour, but you can catch him at Governors Ball on Randall's Island. Tickets for the festival are still available.
All dates are listed, with a song from the new LP, below...
England's Glastonbury Festival is pretty much the forefather to all crazy worldwide "20,000 people standing in a field" festivals we have today. The 2014 edition goes down June 27 - 29 in Pilton, UK and the lineup was just announced. It includes Arcade Fire, Jack White, Dolly Parton (!), Elbow, Disclosure, Bryan Ferry, Massive Attack, Pixies, M.I.A., Dexys Midnight Runners, Kasabian, Lily Allen and loads more. The festival's already sold-out. A few more acts -- including one more headliner -- is still to be announced but lineup as it stands is below...
by Andrew Sacher
On April 19th, Record Store Day, Third Man Records will present Jack White recording the World's Fastest Released Record, studio-to-store, in the history of mankind.Also at the Third Man store on RSD, Whirwind Heat will play their first show since 2006, and of course there will be tons of records and RSD exclusives on sale. Tickets for Vault members are available here, and more info on the event here. Flyer below.
You heard correctly. First thing in the morning, Jack White will take the stage in Third Man's blue room and record direct-to-acetate what will serve as the limited edition version of his next single, a live rendition of the title track from his upcoming LP Lazaretto. The masters will be rushed over to United Record Pressing who will immediately begin pressing 45s. The sleeves will be printed from pictures taken at the show. The finished records will be whisked back to Third Man to sell to awaiting fans. All in the same day. All in a matter of mere hours. As long as there are fans in line waiting to buy the single, United will continue to press and deliver them to Third Man to sell. Even if it takes all day.
In related news, Third Man Records artist Pokey LaFarge has announced he'll be going on a tour this year. While many artists may look the part of an old timey folk musician, Pokey sounds it, with unpolished acoustic instrumentation that sounds decades-old and is far from trendy. On his relationship to Jack White, STL Today writes:
His connection with White has been fruitful. They met after White sought out LaFarge after hearing his music on an AM radio station in Nashville three years ago. He says White is attracted to "rough around the edges vocals and performances, stuff that's really vibrant, and roots-based music. He thought I was fitting for his label."You can listen to tracks from his last self-titled album, which came out in 2013 via TMR, here and watch the video for its opening song, "Central Time," below.
Pokey's tour hits NYC on July 9 at Bowery Ballroom with Sturgill Simpson. Tickets for that show go on sale today (4/4) at noon.
All of his dates are listed, with the song streams and Jack White flyer, below...
Jack White has announced his follow-up to 2011's Blunderbuss. The new album is called Lazaretto and will be out June 10 via Third Man. That's the cover art above and you can stream a track from it -- the instrumental "High Ball Stepper" -- below. The album's title track will be the proper first single and will be out later this month.
The album will get a very limited edition special version through the Third Man Vault, which will be pressed on split-color blue-and-white vinyl and coupled with exclusive album art, a hard-bound book and 7" single. Read more about it at Third Man's website.
No word on a Jack White tour, but he is playing festival dates this summer, including NYC's Governors Ball in June.
All dates are listed, along with the new track stream, below...
Phoenix @ Barclays Center, 2013 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
As you may know, the 2014 Governors Ball happens at Randall's Island from June 6-8. Individual day line-ups have been announced with Outkast, Phoenix and TV on the Radio headlining Friday (6/6), Jack White, The Strokes and Skrillex headlining Saturday (6/7), and Vampire Weekend and Axwell ^ Ingrosso headining Sunday (6/8). You can check each day's full line-up (though set times are still TBA) below.
Additionally, individual day tickets go on sale this Friday (4/4) at noon, with a limited Citi cardmember presale beginning Wednesday (4/2) at 10 AM.
Daily Governors Ball 2014 lineups below...
Montreal's Osheaga Festival is returning this year from August 1 - 3 at Parc Jean-Drapeau. The lineup was just announced and includes Outkast, Jack White, Arctic Monkeys, The Replacements, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Modest Mouse, Local Natives, Haim, SBTRKT (who's streaming a new EP), Pusha T, Gogol Bordello, Cut Copy, Flume, Chance the Rapper, Gesaffelstein, Danny Brown, Four Tet, Volcano Choir, Against Me!, Joey Bada$$, Jon Hopkins, Kevin Drew, Duke Dumont, Shlohmo, The Dismemberment Plan, Courtney Barnett, Hospitality, The Men and more. Tickets are on sale now.
Check out the complete lineup below...
Forecastle Festival returns to Waterfront Park in Louisville, KY from July 18-20 with a lineup of Outkast, Jack White, Beck, The Replacements, Slint (their first US reunion date so far!), Spoon, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Jenny Lewis, tUnE-yArDs, Action Bronson, Against Me!, Sun Kil Moon, Sharon Van Etten, Black Lips, Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks, Waxahatchee, Young & Sick and more. Tickets for the festival go on sale Friday (3/7) at noon.
Full lineup below...
Bonnaroo 2013 (more by Katherine Hansen)
As mentioned, Bonnaroo 2014 happens June 12 - 15 in Manchester, TN. The fest has already been dropping hints as to who's going to play this year (Kanye and Elton John seem likely as headliners) but will finally spill the beans tonight via a web show called "Blam!" which airs at 9 PM EST on Bonnaroo.com (or an Xbox app). (Maybe you watched last year's with Weird Al Yankovich and Portugal the Man.) This year's announcement special is hosted by SNL's Taran Killam and Broad City's Hannibal Buress, with a "superjam" between The Flaming Lips and Ben Folds.
There's also a pre-Blam! web event from 7 - 9 PM EST featuring live cover song performances from Tenacious D, Kings Of Leon, Phish, My Morning Jacket, and others.
Or you can just check back here: we'll have the full Bonnaroo 2014 line-up in this post once its announced.
UPDATE (9 PM): Lineup now being announced and includes Kanye West, Elton John, Vampire Weekend, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Arctic Monkeys, Phoenix, Mastodon, Frank Ocean, The Flaming Lips, Neutral Milk Hotel, Meshuggah, Damon Albarn, Disclosure, Broken Bells, James Blake, Lionel Ritchie, Jack White, Deafheaven, Janelle Monae, CHVRCHES, Darkside, Phosphorescent, Cloud Nothings, Danny Brown, Cut Copy, Typhoon, Sam Smith, Pusha T, Warpaint, Those Darlins, Cass McCombs, Lauryn Hill, Chromeo, Dr. Dog, The Bouncing Souls, Classixx, First Aid Kit, Fitz and the Tantrums, Chance the Rapper, Ice Cube, Caveman, Washed Out, Real Estate, Rudimental, Ty Segall, Polica, A$AP Ferg, Little Dragon, Omar Souleyman, Lucero, Goat, Okkervil River, Jonathan Wilson, Wiz Khalifa, The Avett Brothers and MANY more.
Tickets go on sale Saturday (2/22) at noon.
Full lineup (spoiler: no Outkast) below...
Neil @ Carnegie Hall recently (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
It was widely reported last week that Neil and Jack were getting together, but Neil Young just posted the following to his Facebook. "False Rumours: Neil Young and Jack White are not doing a record of duets as has been erroneously posted on various outlets. We are certain those rumours have no basis in truth." Well, that's too bad!
HOWEVER, Jack White's label Third Man Records reports today that,
Third Man Records unearths NEIL YOUNG's A LETTER HOMEThat's kind of vague, but Rolling Stone seems to confirm that "Neil Young's Low-Tech New Album 'A Letter Home' [is] Due in March"! Neil told Rolling Stone, "it's one of the lowest-tech experiences I've ever had."
An unheard collection of rediscovered songs from the past recorded on ancient electro-mechanical technology captures and unleashes the essence of something that could have been gone forever. -- Homer Grosvenor
Governors Ball 2013 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
We already knew that Outkast would be headlining this year's Governors Ball music festival, which goes down on NYC's Randall's Island from June 6-8, and now, one day after the lineup of Firefly Fest was announced, and a few days after we found out who was playing Coachella, the full lineup has been announced. It includes Jack White, Vampire Weekend, Phoenix, Interpol, TV on the Radio, Julian Casablancas, Disclosure, Spoon, Broken Bells, Damon Albarn, James Blake, Neko Case, The Kills, Grimes, Janelle Monae, Tyler the Creator, Washed Out, Earl Sweatshirt, Kurt Vile, Chance the Rapper, Deafheaven, Run the Jewels and many more.
UPDATE: The Strokes are playing too!
Tickets go on sale today (1/15) at 3 PM. Full lineup and flyer below...
The Dead Weather at Prospect Park in 2010 (more by Jessica Amaya)
As discussed, The Dead Weather -- whose lineup includes Jack White, Alison Mosshart (The Kills), Dean Fertita (Queens of the Stone Age), and Jack Lawrence (The Raconteurs) -- are planning a new album, and they've just released the first single from that album, "Open Up (That's Enough)." The song will be backed by "Rough Detective" for the series of singles being released leading up to the album's release (due out in 2015). The 7" is available via Third Man's subscription series and it will be out digitally on January 14.
Queens of the Stone Age and The Kills (who both have members in The Dead Weather) just played Barclays Center on Saturday (12/14).
Stream "Open Up (That's Enough)" below...
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin, words by PSquared
So how does a music recording label from Wisconsin who -- paraphrasing the words of renowned musicologist Greil Marcus -- used materials from dirt and recorded what they thought was dirt, end up with one of the great catalogs in the history of the American songbook. Well that was the subject of the discussion last night (11/19) at the NY Public Library's Live from NYPL series. Held in the beautiful 5th Ave Saloman Room, it was in honor of the release of the massive gorgeous box set The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records 1917-1932. Jointly put out by Jack White's Third Man Records and Revenant Records which was founded by the late great guitar player John Fahey and Dean Blackwood. This is actually the first in a 2 volume set. The 2nd volume will be released this time next year. Along with Jack White and Dean Blackwood, the panel included Dean's brother Scott Blackwood, Princeton professor and writer Daphne Brooks (who moderated the panel) and rounded out with the aforementioned Greil Marcus.
Before the evening began, attendees were able to view the set which was on display as well as see actual original Paramount 78s. Extremely collectible and rare, the ones on display have also been preserved in beautiful form which is some feat as most existing ones are beat to hell and of course most of the recordings were only ever available in limited quantities. As one story goes, when Paramount Records went out of business, employees were able to take whatever remaining supply was available in lieu of pay. Some used them to cover holes in walls while some employees just flew them off the roof of the buildings into the river.
The discussion was set up in 2 parts. For the first one, Daphne Brooks discussed the history of the label with both White and Dean Blackwood. They traded off stories about this company whose main objective was to sell record players and had decided to boost those sales by recording any type of black "race records" they could. There was no quality control either in who was recorded or how they were recorded. It was cheap (75 cents for each C.O.D.) and quick and when it began, very inauspicious. In the 1920s though, with the great migration and under the guidance of a persuasive "A & R man" named Mayo "Ink " Williams, the label was recording out of Chicago and finding itself with some remarkable talent. From there they would go on to amass this singular historical archive. The discussion was interspersed with selections from the label chosen by each speaker. There was everything from Jelly Roll Morton's New Orleans stomp and spooky gospel (chosen by Jack White) to underrated blues singer Ethel Waters who Daphne Brooks asked the audience to make sure to not sleep on.
After an hour of this, they invited Scott Blackwood and Greil Marcus onstage for the throwdown. The part where each panelist picked songs that they thought were unbeatable from the rest. This was the best part of the evening with each choosing some fascinating numbers. One of the Blackwoods chose an incredible song, "My Man Rocks Me", by washboard player Jimmy O'Bryant and his famous original band containing some syncopated beats that would make a few of today's producers salivate. Jack White picked a song he said he wished he would have wrote called "Mamas Angel Child" by an artist named Sweet Papa Stovepipe. That song and the b side were his only known recordings. But the moment for me was when Greil Marcus chose his pick. Original Stack O'Lee Blues was recorded in 1927 by Papa Harvey Hull and Long 'Cleve' Reed also known as the Down Home Boys, Not the first version (that would be Ma Rainey in 1917) of Stack O'Lee or Stagger Lee which has been recorded by countless artists over the years but one of the most beautiful I've ever heard.
Marcus, a master storyteller, enlivened the audience with the story of how this recording came to be. It was actually recorded by Mayo Williams who had formed a separate company called Black Patti which was at some point absorbed by Paramount. Black Patti was named after a soprano star in the 1920s. Apparently at that time in Chicago, Black Patti was so influential that any song given a seal of approval was bought up by the public without even first being heard. An irony that could not possibly be lost on the person (Jack White) sitting next to Marcus whose got much the same sway in music today. Oh and I've read that apparently the owner of the only known copy of this specific record in existence today has turned down offers of up to $20,000 for it. I only wish they had given more time to Greil Marcus to spin some more tales.
At that point, Daphne Brooks thanked the audience, a Third Man staffer, in the standard bowler hat and getup, whisked Jack White out of the building and a very entertaining evening came to an end. As people exited the room they were given one last parting gift which was a special limited edition (200 copies maybe?) Third Man replica of a Paramount '78. It features 2 gospel blues shouters so loved by Jack White, the A-Side being "You Better Run" by Sister Ernia Mae Cunningham and the B-Side "The New Birth" by Rev. H.C. Greenwood.
Pictures of the evening are in this post. More below...