Free from the seeming constraints of a group, White really cuts loose on his debut solo album, switching casually from blues, folk, country, and rock with an effortless ease not seen since The White Album. Only Sixteen Saltines, a full out Seventies blues rocker in the mould of Blue Orchid is really reminiscent of The White Stripes.
There’s a vintage R&B cover, the 1960 Little Willie John classic I’m Shakin, the Pink Floyd style prog-rock of Missing Pieces and Take Me With You When You Go, the funky Trash Tongue Talker and the country soul of Blunderbuss.
White has always said that Bob Dylan was like a father to him and his influence is evident throughout. Blunderbuss sounds like his Blood On the Tracks, the heartbreak album after the breakup.
It’s hard not to draw parallels with bitter and bruised lyrics such as “I won’t let love disrupt, corrupt, or interrupt me anymore,” on Love Interruption or “When they tell you they just can’t live without you, they ain’t lying, they’ll take pieces of you, and they’ll stand above you, and walk away” on Missing Pieces.
White is backed by a mostly female group of talented Nashville-based musicians who provide glorious harmonies and flourishes throughout such as fiddle, mandolin, and pedal steel, allowing White to deviate from his usual rule book. Ruby Amanfu’s sultry, sexy co-vocals are a revelation providing a seductive counter to White’s abrasive lyrics.