One Track Mind: Jack White, “High Ball Stepper” from Lazaretto (2014)

A gloriously off-kilter instrumental blues from Jack White, “High Ball Stepper” advances the rootsy weirdness that made 2012’s Blunderbuss such a fizzy wonder. It will catch a groove, then devolve into a wide-open space of ruminative piano, then evolve again into a blister of smeared guitar sound.

Is there such a thing as prog blues? If so, then “High Ball Stepper” — the lead track from White’s forthcoming second solo effort Lazaretto, due June 10, 2014 via Third Man Records — is it. Think Hendrix sitting in with Crimson.

So, time for deep dive, right? White’s ready to oblige, with a limited vinyl edition of Lazaretto that will be issued as part of the Vault’s No. 20 package, along with special art, postcard and fold-out poster, and a seven-inch blues single featuring two demos of tracks from the new project, “Entitlement” and “Alone in my Home.” There is also a hard-cover 40-page companion book to be had, featuring with lyrics, notations, more photos and art from Lazaretto.

The former White Stripes co-founder is also set to make a series of North American stops this summer, on a tour that includes Bonnaroo, among others. White’s celebrated solo debut Blunderbuss topped the Billboard charts two years ago.

Nick DeRiso

Over a 30-year career, Nick DeRiso has also explored music for USA Today, All About Jazz, Ultimate Classic Rock and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the nation by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Contact him at