Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Those of you who listened to my weekly report on The Morning Jolt with Larry Flick on SIRIUS XM OutQ this morning heard me sort of pull a fast one on host Larry. I was playing new releases from some well known singer-songwriters: James Taylor, Carole King, Jackson Browne, Jakob Dylan and Jack Johnson. I also came with some music from a new singer-songwriter, Karen Elson.  Larry, who has been known to get annoyed at my bringing in any record that Jack White has any part in (apparently Larry isn't a fan!) asked me, so who is she? He liked the first song, "The Ghost Who Walks."

So I said, "I was hoping you wouldn't ask." Larry immediately knew what was up and asked, "What's her relation to Jack White?!?"

"She's his wife..."


But Larry had to admit that "The Ghost Who Walks" is a really good song. I have to admit, I was a bit worried about how *I* would like Ms. Elson's music. I mean, model-turned-rock-star-wife-turned-artist doesn't sound so promising.  That's not fair, and it's not right to prejudge, but I can't help it.  And anyway, in some interviews I've read with her, she's pretty much said the same thing, so I don't feel so bad. The fact is, the record is really, really good.  Jack doesn't write any songs on the album: he did produce it at his Third Man Records studio (so it sounds great) and he plays drums on lots of tracks, but that's it. The other guys from The Dead Weather are on the album, but it's not his project at all. She wrote her own songs, they are very confident and fully realized.  I bought two songs on itunes when they were released a few weeks ago, and was knocked out by how much I liked it. I bought the album, Karen Elson, and I think it's great. It's kind of like somewhere between Mazzy Star and PJ Harvey's quieter material.  So, it's another album that I recommend.

By the way, a few months ago, I mentioned that she sang on a remix of Robert Plant 's "Last Time I Saw Her" (the only original track off of his 2002 covers album Dreamland).  I just realized that it's available on his Nine Lives box set, and you can buy the track on iTunes.  It's a better version than the studio version, and Karen's vocals are cool - albeit really different than what she does on her record.

Here's a video of her performing with her band:

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