Another one of Jack White's earlier bands and of the many many bands he was in during the 90s, this one is one of my favorites. This single out on Bloodshot Records in 1998 is no exception. I was luck to grab a white version a while back, which was the first pressing, limited to 500 copies.
The 7" features two covers, however, one of the sung by the artist himself - although 40 years after writing it. Lead vocals on both tracks is performed by the legendary Detroit R&B musician Andre Williams (with Jack White on backing vocals). Despite much research I have not been able to identify which of Andre's albums the song original appears on. I was only able to find a version of youtube (there's one version available on spotify but it is the 2* tabernacle version despite it being attributed to Andre).
Here's the 2* version:
The 2* version stays pretty true to the original with some delicious elements added. First of all, I think the strumming and the slide guitar on the 2* version make it feel more country-ish than Andre' R&B version. And secondly, the piano, oh the delicious piano hanging around the back. The piano takes me to a saloon in a western. Especially the piano focussed solo around 1:40. Andre's slightly older more raspy voice also adds to this western feel. Lyrics wise I wasn't able to find any differences between the two versions.
B-side is Ramblin' Man, which is a Hank Williams cover. Hank Williams who have been covered by so many contemporary artists from Bob Dylan, to Melvins to now 2* Tabernacle.
The 2* version also stays true to Hank's original. Especially, the way Dan Miller imitates Hanks' almost yodeling vocals. Very amazing. But then Andre's powerful deep voice takes over the more desparate parts of the song. It makes the song sounds like a guy who's really fighting his own self. It's such a great rendition of the classic country song. Again Jack's piano in the background adds a great ambience. Fuck I love this song.
The 7" also comes with a great little insight into what Bloodshot got on offer in 1998. Apart from the hilarious "Home of Insurgent Country", you'll see a few interesting names here, such as Neko Case and Whiskeytown which was one of Ryan Adams bands. Volebeats was also another great Detroit band from the 90s.