“There's No Home for You Here”: Jack White and the Unsolvable Problem of Blues Authenticity

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Jack White, a white singer and guitar player from Detroit who came of age in the 1990s, has frequently discussed the anxiety he felt during the White Stripes' infancy while playing both Delta blues covers and his own blues originals. This article examines how White crafted a highly stylized visual image and a fictionalized autobiographical back-story for himself and drummer Meg White in order to direct attention away from the complex cross-racial history of his blues-based music. Using older white blues acolytes like Eric Clapton as a cautionary tale, embracing Pete Townshend and Pop art theory as foundational models, and conducting analyses of various White Stripes live and music video performances, this article explores White's visual disruption of the white bluesman's conventional autobiographical narrative.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)176-193
Number of pages18
JournalPopular Music and Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 15 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Music


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