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[Off The Record]
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Jim White
(Luaka Bop)

A former male model, cab driver, and (perhaps) pro surfer, Florida’s Jim White walks a path toward country music that’s a far stretch from Gram Parsons. He’s fallen from a different tree in the same orchard, one that boasts weird weeds like Johnny Dowd, Nick Cave, and 16 Horsepower. White’s is a cool, hickster’s voice well suited to the airless, shuffling drum sounds of the moment. There are marquee collaborations with Morcheeba, Yellow Magic Orchestra’s Sohichiro Suzuki, Sade co-founder Andrew Hale, and Q-Burns. No Such Place is reminiscent of Beck’s more understated approaches to traditional American musics, and yet it rocks and is soulful, clever, and peculiarly profound. Sometimes all at once. The songs are captivating purely as pop (not freak-show stories), with able melody and memorable ear candy. Titles like " Handcuffed to a Fence in Mississippi, " " God Was Drunk When He Made Me, " and " 10 Miles To Go on a 9-Mile Road " betray a deep anger; a spiritual element eases in throughout (White spent some years among the born-again), and it’s all presented with no little humor.


Issue Date: April 5 - 11, 2001

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