Born in the swampy backwater of church-strewn Pensacola, Florida, Jim White has travelled through an eventful life, which has included stints as a fashion model in Milan, working as a New York taxi driver, a photographer, a labourer and a filmmaker. Now he is Jim White, musician and mythmaker with two startlingly original albums under his belt – 1997's 'Wrong Eyed Jesus' and the recently released 'No Such Place' (both released on David Byrne's Luaka Bop label).
Impossible to categorise, these collections of stories and lost souls are driven by a cinematic vision and love of atmosphere that White describes as "mythospheric soundscapes". Sounds of barking dogs and banjos, sirens and musical saws surround tales of murder ('Stabbed in the Heart', 'The Wound That Never Heals'), redemption ('10 Miles To Go On a 9 Mile Road', 'The Road That Leads to Heaven') and blasphemy ('God Was Drunk When He Made Me').
As he invented himself, changing from the drifter Mike Pratt into the cowboy-hatted Jim White, he invents these fables as a way of seeking meaning in a world he is only just coming to terms with. Self-confessedly "not well adjusted to the world", for many years White found it difficult to relate to and communicate with others. Now he creates myth as a way of grounding himself, using it as "echo location, "I'm finding out I exist by sending these things out into the world and to other people." And, with what he calls the "crackpot love letter" of 'No Such Place', other people are finding him and spreading the message. This softly-spoken Southern gentleman has tales to tell. Listen to him.