Live music is on pause at all the venues in the world at this overwhelming terrifying moment in time. Thankfully new performances have been popping up online from all over the world. Since there have been so many, I decided to focus on current and past Third Man Records recording artists. The record company was founded by my personal rock and roll Lord and savior Jack White.
Brendon Benson is a solo artist, a producer, and member of The Raconteurs with Jack White. Every day at 4:20, Benson appears on Instagram in his Boy in the Bubble series. He shows up smoking a joint (it’s at 4:20 for a reason). Benson gets personal about his life staying at his mother-in-law’s beach house in Daytona Beach, Florida. He reveals that he cuts his own hair, his wife gave him his Saint Christopher medallion (he consistently wears it around his neck), and enjoys streaking naked on the beach at night. Benson has played a handful of The Raconteurs songs, but mostly performs solo material from his upcoming album Dear Life out on Third Man Records on April 24th. He even had Jack White’s ex-wife Karen Elson join him from her home in Nashville, Tennessee to sing the standard You Belong to Me.
Karen Elson has also been doing a series on Instagram called A Song A Day Keeps the Blues Away. Instead of her glamorous job of traveling around the world to model for top fashion designers, Elson has been self-isolating with her two children. She sings haunting versions of her favorite songs like Cat Stevens‘ How Can I Tell You, The Cure’s Just Like Heaven, and Nick Cave’s Idiot Prayer. Elson explained how these tunes made her realize how much she misses playing music. She plans to release an album of cover songs after the pandemic.
Jack White’s fiddle player Lillie Mae and her brother Frank Carter Rische go on the web on Sunday nights to entertain the masses from Nashville, Tennessee. Viewers found out Frank shaved his beard for the first time in fifteen years simply to have his face mask fit properly. Besides Mae’s outstanding singing and fiddle playing, Frank surprised me the most with his impressive versions of Glen Cambell’s Gentle on My Mind and The Rolling Stones’ Wild Horses.
Pokey LaFarge released an album on Third Man Records in 2013. His new album Rock Bottom Rhapsody dropped last Friday. Instead of touring to support the new material, LaFarge appeared on NPR’s Live Session and his own Instagram account from Austin, Texas. Between songs, LaFarge had issues tuning his guitar. He joked, “That’s what I get for playing a guitar from the 1900’s. What was I thinking?” LaFarge can’t wait to get out on the road to perform with his band and I can’t wait to see him do it.
As for the man himself, Jack White has been busy restoring upholstery in Nashville, Tennessee. He recently refurbished an antique masonic lodge bench using mohair. White is going to gift it to Johnny Walker (a blues guitarist who played with The White Stripes). It will be shipped to Walker’s artist collective in Dayton, Kentucky. Creativity never stops the artist no matter what the medium.
I’ll see you at the next show. I’ll be the one sitting on an antique masonic lodge bench.