Like a heavyweight prizefighter, Jack White always comes out swinging. He's ready to rock whether you are or not. It's hard to resist his latest songs on Blunderbuss.
The Dutch created the blunderbuss in the 1700s. The firearm was a high-caliber rifle, flared at the muzzle. It discharged shot and other projectiles with huge lethal success. White's guitar, right? His voice is a bit of a blunderbuss, too, a hell-bound wail.
His first solo project is a Whitman's sampler of trash guitar and make-nasty lyrics.
"No one can blow the shows or throw the bones that break your nose like I can," he sings on "Weep Themselves to Sleep." "Trash Tongue Talker" is relentless, unapologetic 1970s rock. Setting his blunderbuss aside, White caresses a Rhodes piano on "Missing Pieces," his voice a sexed-out foil to the instrument's mellow tones.
White's two-night stand this week at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium showcases Blunderbuss as well as past riches. He's always the riddler, and his show features an all-female backup band one night, an all-male group the next.