For years, the city of Nashville has attracted a huge range of artists and musicians. It is, after all, Music City. But despite it being home base for much of the country music industry, the music created and performed in that Tennessee town isn’t all country.

Consider, for instance, Jack White. The cofounder of garage-rock group the White Stripes, White now works as a solo artist (his album Blunderbuss just landed a GRAMMY Album of the Year nomination). He’s also a producer, record label mogul (Third Man Records), and frequent collaborator with a huge range of artists.

He may be a bona fide rock star, but his love of country music runs deep, too. For instance, he produced excellent late-career albums by country icons Loretta Lynn and Wanda Jackson.

Loretta Lynn and Jack White
Loretta Lynn and Jack White during the 47th Grammy Awards in 2005 (Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)

He also recently cut a live album on Jerry Lee Lewis.

And one of his side projects, the Raconteurs, even included guest artists Ricky Skaggs and Pistol Annies member Ashley Monroe on the single “Old Enough.”

It’s an easy bet that the character Liam McGuinnis on the TV show Nashville is based, at least in part, on White. (Though as with all the characters on that show, McGuinnis is likely a composite and certainly fictional. For instance, we’d find it hard to believe White himself would slam his door in the face of a highly respected country music legend such as that portrayed by Connie Britton.)

White is also one of the more high-profile non-country artists who currently calls Nashville home. His label, Third Man Records, is also located in town. Which may be why, in 2011, the mayor even named him a Music City Ambassador.

All this is well and good, but…how does he sound? 

Well, if his performance this past weekend at the 23rd annual KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas extravaganza in L.A. is any indication, pretty darn amazing. As our friends at KROQ described it, he brought “insanely unparalleled guitar skills, gritty voice, and massive songwriting skills” to a set that included material from across his multi-facted career.

Even White fans may not know every song he plays during a show. But as KROQ writes, “because he’s so good at what he does, you’ll walk out of his shows wondering what it is and search it out.” (Read the full review of White’s performance at KROQ’s Almost Acoustic Christmas and see all the photos.)

– Kurt Wolff, CBS Local


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