The Raconteurs & Ricky Skaggs: “Old Enough”

Four hundred and twenty-odd posts in, it seems I'm belatedly getting the hang of this, since I've just learned how to embed Youtube links into Wild Mercury Sound. Here, then, is the excellent new take on "Old Enough" by The Raconteurs, augmented by Ricky Skaggs and Ashley Monroe.

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Four hundred and twenty-odd posts in, it seems I’m belatedly getting the hang of this, since I’ve just learned how to embed Youtube links into Wild Mercury Sound. Here, then, is the excellent new take on “Old Enough” by The Raconteurs, augmented by Ricky Skaggs and Ashley Monroe.



[youtube]YBEkNefuGCU[/youtube]

Beautifully shot as well as played, I think. It strikes me that perhaps “Consolers Of The Lonely” might not have received as much love as previous Jack White endeavours, but I like it more and more, and I can’t think of many bands I’ve seen in the past couple of years who play with such verve and virtuosity as they do(here’s my review of their Hammersmith show back in May).

Anyway, this is fantastic. On the album, I recall “Old Enough” sounding like an odd relation of English folk-rock, recalling – especially the Swarbrickish fiddle – Fairport Convention. Here, though, driven by the meticulous picking of Skaggs, it’s recast as flighty, plaintive bluegrass, an endearingly studied hoedown that eventually wanders into “Wake Up Little Susie”.

I suppose when people mythologise bluegrass, it’s often presented as a raw, untethered music. But actually, as this clip proves, there’s something very precise and fragile about it, joyous but also, thanks to the skill involved, mighty self-conscious, too.

But that self-consciousness is, I guess, enhanced by The Raconteurs, White and Brendan Benson in their new hats, White singing in that restrained and uncharacteristically nervous tone that’ll be familiar to anyone who saw his deferential performance of “Your Loving Cup” with The Rolling Stones in “Shine A Light”.

I sometimes think, and am sometimes fairly sure that, hyperbolically, Jack White is a rare artist destined for posterity, one whose body of work will eventually measure up, in some way, against those of his heroes. It’s interesting, though, to watch him in their company now, and to see how the impetuous swagger he usually brings to his music is replaced by an oddly fannish meekness.

It makes him more human, for the time being, I suppose, and it certainly doesn’t detract from the strength of this version.

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