Jim White: Where It Hits You (Yep Roc)

Jim White: Epilogue to a Marriage
Jim White: Where It Hits You (Yep Roc)

The idiosyncratic Jim White – whose music is suffused in the dark Southern literary tradition as much as alt.country (more alt than most alt.country) -- was the central figure in the remarkable doco Searching for the Wrong Eyed Jesus as he traveled around backroads and broke-down townships ruminating on Christianity and country music.

A troubled man for troubled times, and now – in his mid 50s – even more so.

While recording this his wife walked out “into the arms of a younger man” so the emotional fallout and self-doubt squeezes through most of these lowkey tracks.

Even when brass players wooze in (Sunday's Refrain) or things sound absurdly upbeat (What Rocks Will Never Know) there's deep analysis going on. He doesn't sound convinced things “will be alright with me” on the banjo-plucked and country-Dylan State of Grace.

Infinite Mind (“let's sleep in the poison ivy”) sounds like the offspring of a Beefheart/Waits experiment and Loudon Wainwright's sprightly folk, and Here We Go is Flight of the Conchords from an alternate universe where Frank Zappa and David Byrne control the airwaves.

Despite its circumstances, there's gentleness here (the folksy My Brother's Keeper) and typically White keeps you guessing with odd sonic touches – and offers a naked Epilogue to a Marriage which opens with off-kilter piano.

Sad, strange and courageous, and it hits you.

Like the sound of this? Then check out this.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Tift Merritt: See You on The Moon (Concord)

Tift Merritt: See You on The Moon (Concord)

To be honest, despite very much liking most of Merritt's '02 album Bramble Rose -- and concluding the review, "a name to remember, Tift" -- I lost touch with her augmented alt.country... > Read more

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Eva Prowse: I Can't Keep Secrets (Eva Prowse/Rhythmethod)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Eva Prowse: I Can't Keep Secrets (Eva Prowse/Rhythmethod)

Prowse -- here with her debut album -- has probably crossed more people's paths than they might think: she has toured with Fly My Pretties, opened for Wanda Jackson and appeared on the excellent... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Harry Nilsson, Nilsson Schmilsson (1971)

Harry Nilsson, Nilsson Schmilsson (1971)

The too-short life of the greatly under-appreciated singer/songwriter Harry Nilsson (1941-94) was full of bitter ironies: not the least was that this gifted songwriter's biggest hits were written... > Read more

Dunedin, New Zealand: The old hometown looks . . .

Dunedin, New Zealand: The old hometown looks . . .

To be honest, I’d only been to Dunedin twice previously -- and I left early both times. A few years ago I spent a night there on my way to somewhere else, and when I was 17 I arrived as snow... > Read more