Title - 'Misfit's Jubilee'
Artist - Jim White
For those not in the know, the ever-elusive Americana maverick Jim White returns with his most upbeat, hallucinogenic record to date.
Known for his catalog of dark ruminations on all things Southern, White’s latest outing, Misfit’s Jubilee, (out October 30th, 2020 via Fluff & Gravy Records) features a nonstop parade of manic, blue-collar conflagrations exploring realms dark and light, mystic and mundane, cynical and heartfelt; all presented within a buoyant, hook-laden sonic framework.
Misfit’s Jubilee draws from an array of original songs penned by White over the span of several decades — scattered among the recent compositions are songs back-burnered in previous epochs by White’s major label handlers, this after said songs were deemed too extreme for his “brand”.
With no such middle-man constraints this go-round, in Misfit’s Jubilee, White has found the perfect vehicle to unleash his twisted take on southern folk rock.“A motel’s as good a place as any to let your demons fly!”
1. 'Monkey In A Silo'
2. 'Wonders Never Cease'
3. 'Sum of What We've Been'
4. 'There Would I Be'
5. 'Smart-Ass Reply'
6. 'The Mystery of You'
7. 'Highway of Lost Hats'
8. 'Fighting My Ghosts Again'
9. 'My Life's A Stolen Picture'
10. 'The Divided States of America'
Plunging headlong into Misfit’s Jubilee one central truth emerges — the further White dives into the material, the deeper said material gets, culminating with the closing couplet of epic show stoppers - he opens with the translucently strident 'Monkey In A Silo,' which is backed by the mid-tempo, fuzzy rockabilly-imbued 'Wonders Never Cease,' and then comes the, at first ornate and translucent, but soon free flowingly, windows down, Americana-leaning of 'The Sum Of What We've Been.'
Next up is the transcendent guitar and harmonica rock out of 'Where Would I Be' and then with the rampantly euphoric guitar fest of 'Smart Ass Reply' backing that up nicely, the album - recorded primarily at Studio Caporal in Antwerp, Belgium - unabashedly begins to showcase a stark reminder that this record marks a noticeable departure from White's usual hopscotch approach to collaboration.
A fact mainly due to there not being a bevy of celebrated guest artists and studios scattered across the globe this time around. Indeed, all this album has accompanying it is multi-instrumentalist White, his long time drummer Marlon Patton, plus trusted Belgian sidemen Geert Hellings (guitar/banjo) and Nicolas Rombouts (electric and stand-up bass/keys).
That said, the pared down chemistry on display here totally lends Misfit's Jubilee a sonic integrity that continues onward with the melancholy, piano-driven 'The Mystery Of You,' the atmospheric, and darkly comedic 'Highway of Lost Hats,' the one-two rock-popera of 'Fighting My Ghosts Again," rounding out with the banjo-led, foot-tappin' Americana kitsch of 'My Life’s A Stolen Picture' (replete with stadium anthem chants and shout-outs to Bigfoot), with that ribald mood quickly displaced by the most overtly political song on the record, 'The Divided States of America.' (which I could swear opens with the underbelly melody of Hall & Oates' 'I Can't Go For That').
A scathing indictment of the sorry state of affairs in his homeland, White’s deadpan delivery brilliantly underscores the banal evil at play presently in the US and brings the new musical adventure - and one that far exceeds any of White's previous efforts - to a most perfect close.
You can order Misfit's Jubilee now at www.FluffandGravy.com.
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