This is an extremely cool, albeit totally unexpected bit of news. While it's nothing new that former White Stripes frontman, solo artist, record producer, and label executive Jack White has long had a thing for the blues, none of us ever thought that he'd take it beyond the odd Robert Johnson cover on a Stripes' LP.
Putting his money where his mouth is, White's Nashville-based Third Man Records has inked a deal with U.K. archival label Document Records to reissue a number of classic blues collections on uber-cool 180-gram vinyl with funky new 21st century cover artwork. The first three releases will feature Delta blues legend Charley Patton, a major influence on bluesmen like Howlin' Wolf; Piedmont bluesman Blind Willie McTell, made popular by the Allman Brothers Band's cover of the guitarist's "Statesboro Blues"; and the Mississippi Sheiks, whose "Sittin' On Top of the World" has become a bona fide standard covered by hundreds of blues, rock, and pop artists. The Third Man releases follow Document's The Complete Recorded Works series, presenting each artist's songs in chronological order.
We'll let the official Third Man press release for the series tell the rest of the story: "The recordings we'll be presenting in this reissue series are the building blocks and DNA of American culture. Blues, R&B, Elvis, teenagerism, punk rock...it all goes back to these vital, breathtaking recordings. Third Man Records is proud to present these landmark albums in conjunction with Document Records, with brand new, jaw-dropping artwork by Rob Jones and new insightful liner notes, on vinyl for the first time in decades. Every record collection should have ample room for these highly important and endlessly listenable albums." Scheduled for January 29th, 2013 release, all three albums are now available for pre-ordering. Check out the Third Man Records website for more details on this essential vinyl series (munchies for your turntable).
Photo courtesy Third Man Records