Ever the restless musical soul, Jack White has taken up yet another new project. The former White Striper has joined Bob Dylan in a tribute to Hank Williams, sprung from Dylan’s gifting of a folder of Williams’ lyrics that were never put to music.
Akin to Billy Bragg and Wilco’s Mermaid Avenue “collaborations” with Woody Guthrie, Dylan has enlisted an assortment of high-profile musicians to complete the old Williams compositions, according to ClashMusic.
“I did a project with Bob Dylan: he put together 20 or 25 people to finish writing Hank Williams songs that only had lyrics and didn’t have music … I had to write music for Hank Williams’ lyrics,” White said. “I looked through all the piles of lyrics, and one of ’em just kept speaking to me. Sometimes you think ‘it’s gonna be really hard to find my spot,’ and then it picks it for you. You don’t even have to choose it; it just picks it for you.”
Dylan has yet to announce the full list of artists tied to the project, but White let a few names slip in an interview with MTV News.
“He [Dylan] did one, asked Willie Nelson to do one, asked me to do one, and I think Lucinda Williams and Alan Jackson are on it too,” he said.
Dylan and White have dabbled in one another’s material enough to convince us of their chemistry (they’ve performed live versions of the White Stripes’ Ball and Biscuit as well as Meet Me in the Morning from Dylan’s iconic Blood on the Tracks album, among others). We’re looking forward to hearing what comes of this.