Jim White (musician)

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Jim White
Jim White 1.jpg
Jim White at Nottingham's Bodega Social Club, October 12, 2007
Background information
Birth name Michael Davis Pratt[1]
Born (1957-03-10) March 10, 1957 (age 57)[2]
Genres Americana, alternative country
Years active 1990s–present
Labels Loose Music (Europe) Yep Roc (North America)
Website http://www.jimwhite.net/

Michael Davis Pratt (born March 10, 1957) known professionally as Jim White, is a Southern American singer-songwriter and guitarist. White's music can be loosely described as alternative country, but veers off in different, sometimes experimental directions with occasional nods[citation needed] to Tom Waits and the literary narratives of Flannery O'Connor, Cormac McCarthy, and Harry Crews.

Early life[edit]

White was born in California but moved to Pensacola, Florida at the age of 5 .He was influenced in his childhood by gospel music.[3] According to various sources, he has been a comedian, a fashion model, a boxer, a preacher, a professional surfer, and a New York cab driver.[3][4] Before embarking on a music career, White attended film school at New York University. Soon after finishing his lengthy thesis at the university, White entered a self-described "deep hole of sickness and depression and poverty."[5] However, during a party organized by film school friends, White began to perform, and began writing material for an album soon afterward.[5]

Musical career and performances[edit]

Jim White at Nottingham's Bodega Social Club, October 12, 2007

White's live shows, particularly when touring solo, can be characterized as off-beat, blending his playlist with open discussion with the audience, anecdotal storytelling derived from his own life experiences, all of which is typically humorous and insightful,with a deep sense of his feeling for the broken beauty of humanity. He has stated during shows that ultimately he wishes to return to the academic field, particularly as a professor, rather than continue as a professional, touring musician. Much of this is due to his family life, which he has stated takes priority in his life and is the reason he does not like touring very much. His sister, Katherine Pratt, teaches at Loyola Law School.

White's band has no fixed lineup, but regularly includes musicians such as Dan Nettles (Electric Guitar); Peter Alvanos, Robby Handley, Steve Bishop Maples (Bass); Rob McMaken (Dulcimer, Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin), Marlon Patton (Drums) and Mark Tulk (Keys).

White's albums often feature collaborations. On Wrong-Eyed Jesus, folk singer Victoria Williams sings on the track "Angel-Land"; British electronica trio Morcheeba produced and played on three tracks on No Such Place. Aimee Mann, Barenaked Ladies, and jazz guitarist Bill Frisell appear on Drill a Hole in That Substrate and Tell Me What You See, which was produced by Joe Henry, Tucker Martine, and Jim White himself. In an interview with David Byrne, White describes the making of the album.[6] In 2006, Jim White collaborated with Johnny Dowd and Willie B and formed a group called Hellwood; in 2006, the band toured throughout Europe to promote the album Chainsaw of Life. More recently, Jim White served as producer and songwriter on a collaboration alongside Tucker Martine and blues singer Linda Delgado, on a project entitled Mama Lucky. Mama Lucky's first release 'Permanent Stranger' was released February 2009.[7]


In 2011, White produced a song, entitled "Simon Says,"[8] on Thugs and China Dolls, the sophomore record from Savannah-based singer-songwriter Dare Dukes.

In 2012 White produced The Skipperdees debut record, Some Bright Mourning, a dark folk offering that received solid reviews (5 stars Flagpole magazine), and Alex Wright's dreamy sophomore offering Starlight Navigator.

In 2013 White teamed up with Packway Handle Band to record Take It Like A Man, a bluegrass/folk hybrid scheduled to be released in 2015.

Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus is a 2004 BBC documentary, directed by Andrew Douglas, in which Jim White describes his idea of the rural South. The film features performances by like-minded musicians such as The Handsome Family, David Eugene Edwards of 16 Horsepower and Johnny Dowd.

White's song "Wordmule" was featured in "Blood Money" from season five of Breaking Bad.




  • 1997: Gimme 5
  • 2008: A Funny Little Cross to Bear



Visual Art Exhibits[edit]

"Deep Fried Ephemera", The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, Ireland 4 July – 18 August 2009

"Winter at SECCA" Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC

Also participated in inaugural "Crossroads" series, performing with The South Memphis String Band, Feb. 19, 2011

"Scrapbook of a Fringe Dweller" Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans LA, Oct.7-Dec. 15 2013


"Superwhite! / Wild-Eyed Tree," The Douglas Hyde Gallery, 2009. In conjunction with art exhibit. "Includes autobiographical text, Superwhite (Another True Story), and previously unreleased lyrics by Jim White. Also included are images of the exhibition and photographs by Jim White."[9]


Musical Score to "The Americans", a Sam Shepard play (with Dan Nettles), Juilliard School of Music NYC, 11 February 2010


  1. ^ "Songwriter/Composer: PRATT MICHAEL DAVIS". BMI Repertoire. Broadcast Music Incorporated. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  2. ^ White, Jim. "White on White". v2music.com. V2 Records. Retrieved 2008-06-01. 
  3. ^ a b Ankeny, Jason. "Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-06-01. 
  4. ^ White, Jim; BBC Four (2004-06-22). "Jim White Interview". BBC Four Documentaries. BBC. Retrieved 2008-06-01. 
  5. ^ a b White, Jim; Henderson, Steve. "Jim White – The Triste Interview". Triste Magazine (4). Retrieved 2008-06-01. 
  6. ^ White, Jim; Byrne, David (2000-12-21). "David Byrne & Jim White Talk and Talk and Talk". luakabop.com. Luaka Bop. Retrieved 2008-06-01. 
  7. ^ "Mama Lucky". 
  8. ^ Dukes, Dare (2011-01-29). "Jim White, Aficionado of the Found". daredukes.com. Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  9. ^ "Superwhite!". Retrieved 2011-02-18. 

External links[edit]