One Track Mind: Jack White, “Just One Drink” from Lazaretto (2014)

This one doesn’t sneak up on you. “Just One Drink” is as subtle as a slap across the face after a long night at the bar. That’s the enduring charm of Jack White, despite the crazy outfits, the curio recording booth, the world’s-fastest-record stunts, the heartbreaking split with Meg. (No, actually, we’re not over that yet.)

See, deep down, somewhere tucked away under all of that hipster modernity, is a stone-cold blues lover. And “Just One Drink,” the latest advance track from the June 10, 2014 release Lazaretto proves it.

Sure, he can glam it up, get all weird, go on national TV with Neil Young and suborn an utterly needless cover of Willie Nelson’s “Crazy.” Jack White is the definition of all of the map. But he can also unleash something like this, something that gets to the marrow of what made those old Chess guys great — digging back past barbeque-slathered Texas updates from Stevie Ray, the raggedy-ass junkie approximations of the Stones, and the fidgety raveups of the Yardbirds, all the way back to the face-melting original feel.

Then, he’ll throw in a creaky violin in the middle eight, before crashing back into this song’s shotgun shack-rattling groove. He is Jack White, after all.

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has explored music for USA Today, All About Jazz 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! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
  • char33

    Could not be more excited for this album! Jack White is one of the most innovative musicians. Check out this video of him and Ben Blackwell discussing the special pressing of the Lazaretto Ultra LP: