Jim White is a hard man to pin down. He’s a self-taught guitarist and singer who has seen a lot of life. He grew up in Pensacola, Florida and has been a fashion model, professional surfer, boxer, preacher, a comedian and more.
His music runs the gamut – alt-country, indie pop, experimental music of various kinds. His music is by turns deep, catchy, dark, beautiful, sad, and funny. Above all, he’s a brilliant lyricist and storyteller. It might be that wide range of styles that keeps him from mass market success (or even, apparently “mass indie” success). He’s too quirky and experimental for the country crowd, and has too much twang in his voice for the indie crowd. It could also be the fact that he’s not extremely prolific and doesn’t tour heavily. I have read that he is considering a career as a writer – not surprising given the brilliant short story he wrote for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus booklet. I would certainly love to see what kind of books he might write.
I almost get the feeling he doesn’t care about being a huge success. His observations about the South, and about human nature in general are so perceptive, he’s almost more of a philosopher than a musician.
He was a bit of a slow-grower for me, a common hallmark of the artists I love most deeply. I first discovered him through a used comp CD with “10 Miles to Go on a 9 Mile Road” on it. I liked it well enough to buy the album, No Such Place. I played it a few times and liked it OK, but nothing really jumped out at me. It didn’t really go into heavy rotation.
Then one day I put the CD on, just on a whim, and realized the songs were brilliant. Why didn’t I notice before? Then I bought his debut album, The Mysterious Tale of How I Shouted Wrong-Eyed Jesus! and put that on and the music hit me like a bolt of lightning. This was something unusual and very special. I have since bought every album and eagerly await anything else he might put out. I wish there were more!
Favorite songs come from all his albums (not necessarily in order except for the top 2):
1. “A Perfect Day to Chase Tornados” The Mysterious Tale of How I Shouted Wrong-Eyed Jesus!
2. “Still Waters” The Mysterious Tale of How I Shouted Wrong-Eyed Jesus!
3. “Borrowed Wings” Drill a Hole in That Substrate and Tell Me What You See
4. “Bluebird” Drill a Hole in That Substrate and Tell Me What You See
5. “Diamonds to Coal” Transnormal Skiperoo
6. “Pieces of Heaven” Transnormal Skiperoo
7. “Crash Into the Sun” Transnormal Skiperoo
8. “Plywood Superman” Transnormal Skiperoo
9. “Christmas Day” No Such Place
10. “Handcuffed to a Fence in Mississippi” No Such Place
Visit his website, which contains links to his merchandise, a forum for fans, lists of his favorite artists, movie directors and authors, some of his thoughts on life and more. The man is a really deep thinker.