Jack White vs. Jack White

This isn't the White Stripes (obviously), It's "JACKY" Jack White:

Although it shouldn't stop anyone from checking out the album 'Southern Songboook' by Jack White it should be noted that the singer-songwriter behind this record is NOT the same Jack White as the White Stripes' guitar hero. Since typing "Jack White" into Amazon will give you dozens of Jack "White Stripes" White references with a few scattered mentions of the traditional-country "Jacky Jack" White, it can be confusing, especially since (a) Jacky Jack isn't as well known as Jack White (Stripes) and (b) Jack White (Stripes) is known to play some Southern-influenced and even Carter-Sister-influenced country songs (for instance, he produced, played, and sang on the incredible new Loretta Lynn album, "Van Lear Rose", and appears on the "Cold Mountain" soundtrack).

Finding a full-blown bio on "Jacky Jack" White can be near impossible, with a Google search resulting in hundreds of Jack White (Stripes) pages for every "Jacky Jack" site. Making it even more impossible: "Jacky Jack" is often referenced simply as "Jack White", without the "Jacky" part of his nickname being mentioned, so his name is indistinguishable from that of the White Stripes' front man. It would be nice if websites like Amazon and Google could find a way of noting which man is which, and who did which album, as a lot of confusion seems to have erupted now and again due to the name situation (and Jack-Stripes' fervent and tremendous output in just a few short years, combined with gaggles of coverage).

Personally, right now (2004), I prefer the music and producing of Jack "White Stripes" White... but "Jacky Jack" White is an award-winning singer-songwriter in his own right, and even if you haven't heard him sing, you've probably heard a cover or two of one of his songs, since he's been a popular songwriter on-and-off for a couple of decades. And the Carter Sisters, of course, are dynamite -- traditional folk/country from back when Country Music was cool and rebellious, and not just the corporate-radio all-sounds-the-same Red-State Light-Republican-Rock of today.

"Jacky Jack" is getting back to the roots of country here, and working with the last recordings of the Carter Sisters, so this album is much more in line with the alternative/indie country-roots-rock movement than the "I own a new gas-guzzling off-road pick-up truck even though I work in an office and live in the suburbs" Contemporary Country. And although it's not going to rock you like the White Stripes, devastate you like Johnny Cash, move you like Wilco, or amuse you like Will (Bonnie Prince/Palace Bros.) Oldham or Ryan "I'm not Brian" Adams, it's still worth checking out (if for no other reason than to know firsthand the difference between the two Jack Whites). It's a solid album.

But after you're done exploring the two Jacks, and admiring Van Lear Rose and old-school Parton and Loretta, check out some earth-shattering Emmylou Harris, mind-blowing Graham Parsons, and criminally-hip old-school Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson for a real taste of honky-tonk country as it was meant to be (one last hint: search for "Mermaid Avenue" as an appetizer, and you'll begin to see just how much country has influenced even the best modern rock. Interestingly, "Jacky Jack" is supposedly a huge Brian Jones fan, so rock is influencing country right back, of course).

Search Amazon for both Jack Whites

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