Subterranean Books, Pensacola, FL • November 3, 2000
Subterranean Books owner Paul Williams has long wanted his store to be a cultural center as well as a top-notch bookstore. With his recent move to a downtown location, that desire has very much become a reality with nearly weekly events taking place in the small courtyard behind the store.
Jim White is on the verge of releasing his long-awaited follow-up to his critically acclaimed debut album, Wrong Eyed Jesus. The forthcoming No Such Place will be supported by a large tour of the US and Europe, and Jim White has chosen Subterranean Books as his venue to get ready for the tour. While on tour, White is going to be playing with a five-piece band, but for certain intimate settings Jim White is going to play a stripped-down version of the show with himself and guitarist Chris Henrich. That was the line up that played before about forty people in the Subterranean Books courtyard. Songs from Wrong Eyed Jesus (“Perfect Day to Chase Tornadoes,” “Stabbed in the Heart”), No Such Place (“Objects in Motion”), and even some tunes predating his records were played. His new songs are a little less maudlin but still careen around the same gothic Southern backroads. The sound of the songs is more stripped down than I’ve ever heard them. It seems as if Jim White is finally truly comfortable with himself and his songs, and doesn’t need quite as many accessories to feel complete. His new guitar player Chris Heinrich is a rock-solid but very understated slide guitar player who perfectly complements White without ever threatening to upstage him. This hour-long showcase was a great opportunity to hear one of the best singer/songwriters around today in an intimate, personal way.