The new Prairie Home Companion, which some are calling “PCH 2.0,” now stars Chris Thile after former host Garrison Keillor left the show after 42 years. Although the new PHC host will not be permanently leaving California for the icy cold of Minnesota, he has already settled in nicely. Demonstrating that this is not your parents’ PCH anymore, the guest musician was none other than Jack White! White performed four songs including a duet with the sensational Margo Price. What songs did White perform?
There was a lot of anticipation about the new host Thile, but odds are, there were some new listeners to the show who tuned in just to hear Jack White. Unfortunately, this is a radio show, as White’s band looked like they went back in time as they all played aluminum instruments from a ship from the 30s. Because wood gets warped in the wet sea air, musicians on a ship would use aluminum instruments.
White performed a haunting version of “Carolina Drama,” which he first recorded with the Raconteurs. He also performed a duet with Margo Price of the White Stripes’ song “I’m Lonely (But I Ain’t That Lonely Yet)” that is on his new album of acoustic recordings. He also performed “City Lights,” an unreleased White Stripes’ song that is also on the album. The finale was a Tom T. Hall hit song “(Margie’s At) The Lincoln Park Inn,” which was written by Bobby Bare.
Nickel Creek’s Chris Thile, who performs with Nickel Creek, made his hosting debut on Saturday night on the live broadcast from the historic Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, Minnesota. The Theatre, named after St. Paul native novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald, is where Prairie Home Companion has been performed for years and continues the tradition.
Jack White brought Third Man Records recording artist Margo Price on stage for an epic performance.
Recently, Jack White performed on the Jools Holland show. In addition, Jools interviewed him. First, he asked Jack how he picked the tracks for his new acoustic album Acoustic Recordings 1998-2016. White explained that he started out with three hours of songs. He whittled it down by taking out cover songs and live songs and ended up with “something that made sense.” Jack was especially interested in taking studio tracks that were remastered, specifically songs that started out as acoustic songs and wound up with full production. White wanted to “peel back” to where the song initially began.
With 18 years worth of music, Holland asked if time helped White appreciate songs. White admitted that it can take years to hear a song “clearly.” White explained that when you first write a song, you are too close to the music, so time needs to go by to “really see the song for what it is.”
White also reflected that “you appreciate the nuances later.” White recalled Stuart Copeland, of the Police, and the drum fills that White liked back when he was 12. He realizes that he “loves” them now. White then mentioned that he also loves the John Bonham drum fills and further explained why the drums are so important to him. He explained that he always starts to attack the music from the drummer first, then moves on to the piano and then the vocals, melody, and song. The drums are his “favorite part.”
As Jack White collaborates with so many people, Jools asked Jack what is the key to successful collaboration. Jack smiled as if he was going to give out the ingredients to the secret sauce.
“To be as polite as possible.”
Recently, White collaborated with Beyoncé. White explained that he likes to go into other people’s worlds that are different from his own analog world. He tries to learn something from them. Obviously, Beyoncé does not live in an analog world. Yet he looked and he eventually found common ground.
“I first thought it wasn’t gong to work.”
So, Jools wanted to know, what exactly did Jack White learn from Beyoncé? Jack White was not going to reveal anything substantial.
“She’s very beautiful.”
When asked about playing music, Jools wanted to know if Jack preferred spontaneity or being well-rehearsed. Fans of the White Stripes’ singer knows that answer! A bright red spontaneity!
Jools made White laugh when he asked about White’s label, Third Man Records, recently launching a space-proof turntable. Jools Holland wanted to know more about this. White briefly explained that they had to get clearance with NASA and the FFA. Once that was done, they took his three millionth piece of vinyl, to commemorate that they sold three million pieces of vinyl, and propelled it into space. Perhaps Martians are listening to his music now?
Did you listen to Jack White and Margo Price on the updated Prairie Home Companion? Are you enjoying White’s pared down, acoustic versions of his songs?
[Featured Image by Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images]