Jack White, Bob Dylan Rework Hank Williams Lyrics


If Steppin’ in It bassist Dominic Suchyta is to be believed, he’s right in the middle of quite a bit of music history. Speaking with Paste Magazine, Suchyta explained that that Mr. Bob Dylan is spearheading an initiative to set some of country legend Hank Williams‘ “lost” lyrics to music. (By “lost” he means “essentially, the lyric sheets Hank died with in his briefcase.”) And Jack White of the White Stripes is involved.

So how does Suchyta know all this? Apparently, Jack is his “oldest friend”, and asked him to play upright bass on his contribution to the project, a take on the unheard Williams tune “You Know That I Know”. Suchyta told Paste that “no one has heard” the song, “as it was a Hank Williams lyric sheet that Jack put to music and edited a bit. Jack was sent most of or all of the unfinished tunes and picked this one to finish. We listened to quite a bit of Hank while I was down there and sat around the two of us playing our favorite Hank tunes, but the song was done when I got there. I think Jack just ingested a bunch of Hank Williams and this is what came out of him.” Figuratively, he means.

White and Suchyta were joined in the studio by engineer Joe Chiccarelli (Stars, the Shins), Raconteur Dean Fertita and Dylan band member Donny Herron on guitar and Autolux’s Carla Azar on drums. “We did the session in one long day, live in a circle with some mics around-much like Hank would have,” Suchyta said. Mr. Robert Zimmerman didn’t take part in the session, though Suchyta “wouldn’t put it past” Dylan and White to be cooking up something together. He added that Dylan and White “seem to be cut from the same cloth, sort of misplaced Midwestern brothers.”

Deep in blabbin’ mood, Suchyta hinted that Willie Nelson and Norah Jones may very well also contribute songs, and that Dylan “no doubt” recorded a tune for the project during the sessions for last year’s excellent Modern Times. No word on just what the end result of all this will look like, but it’s probably safe to assume it’ll be wearing a bolo tie.

In other White Stripes news, they took time away from hanging out with Bob friggin’ Dylan to go palling around with Beck and some bull fighters. You know, no big thing. The Stripes posted a couple photos from the forthcoming “Conquest” video on their website today, taken by photographer Erik Ian Schaetzke. And here they are:

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