One Track Mind: Jack White, “Temporary Ground” from Lazaretto (2014)

Jack White has officially released music across a dizzying spectrum in advance of the June drop of his sophomore solo release Lazaretto, from thrillingly mangled dance music to crackling next-gen blues. He’s added another new song in concert, and another wrinkle, too.

“Temporary Ground,” which showed up during a Sunday night stop at Houston’s Eleanor Tinsley Park, finds White settling into a Stonesy country honk — fitting for the setting, perhaps, but still another intriguing twist from an artist who seems to thrill at the idea of kicking down genre walls. Only this time, he’s wearing steel-toed Texas boots.

Dedicated to folklorist Mack McCormick, “Temporary Ground” takes a swipe at the old explorers, who didn’t really discover anything that hadn’t already been seen by native peoples, of course. Call that another twist, too, since White has more recently been tussling with the likes of Adele and the Black Keys. Who could have guessed that Magellan was next?

Of course, this being Jack White and all, there are plenty of quick left turns along the way. The track moves with fizzy attitude from an oaken twang to a shambolic fierceness — and then, just like that business with the Black Keys, it’s gone with a thunk.

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