May 20th, 2014
Episode 522 of 754 episodes
by Bob BoilenThere's a stunning new album from Jack White on the way. Lazaretto, out June 10, is his second "solo" record, though the talented musicians who made up the male and female backing bands for Blunderbuss, his first album under his own name, have returned. This time around, the men and women are often part of the same band.Jack White has been a passionate and gritty guitar player since he was a teenager, and with The White Stripes he excelled at making music that was bold and brash. But in his many projects, both as a musician and as the mind behind the Nashville label Third Man Records, he's demonstrated a love for a range of American styles, and found ways to bring music from the hills and from the distant past into the here and now. On Lazaretto, he puts those influences on full view: old-time fiddle, honky-tonk piano, wailing electronics and his own shimmering guitar.When I spoke with Jack White last week, I was in Philadelphia and he was in Nashville, in rehearsals with his band to tour the new record this summer. We talked about the composition process behind the new album — including how he crushed writer's block with a little help from his 19-year-old self — as well as the nature of fate and coincidence, and why he rarely writes anything down. When he first sat down he told me his next stop was the studio, to record a B-side for an upcoming single.