Music

Fire of inspiration

Grammy winner John Paul White brings latest tour to Taos

By Tempo staff
tempo@taosnews.com
Posted 10/7/18

Now, AMP Concerts is presenting White live in-concert Wednesday (Oct. 10), 7:30 p.m., at the Taos Mesa Brewing Mothership, 20 ABC Mesa Road, off U.S. 64 west.

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Music

Fire of inspiration

Grammy winner John Paul White brings latest tour to Taos

Posted

John Paul White was one half of the duo, The Civil Wars, that won the 2012 Grammy Awards for Best Folk Album and Country Performance by a Duo or Group. In 2016, White launched his solo career with the album, “Beulah.” Now, AMP Concerts is presenting White live in-concert Wednesday (Oct. 10), 7:30 p.m., at the Taos Mesa Brewing Mothership, 20 ABC Mesa Road, off U.S. 64 west.

Opener is Carson McHone, a singer-songwriter from Austin, Texas. Last year, Rolling Stone Magazine named McHone as one of “10 New Country Artists You Need to Know.” Her recordings consist of a self-titled EP in 2013 and a album "Goodluck Man,” released in 2015.

White’s album, “Beulah,” is described in press materials as “a remarkably and assuredly diverse collection spanning plaintive folk balladry, swampy southern rock, lonesome campfire songs, and dark acoustic pop. Gothic and ambitious, with a rustic, lived-in sound.”

"Beulah" is also a White family nickname. “It’s a term of endearment around our house,” White explains in a prepared statement, “like you would call someone ‘Honey.’ My dad used to call my little sister Beulah, and I call my daughter Beulah. It’s something I’ve always been around.”

For the poet and painter William Blake, “Beulah” was a place deep in the collective spiritual unconscious.

“I won’t pretend to be the smartest guy in the world,” White, a proud resident of Florence, Alabama, states, “but I dig a lot of what he’s written. ‘Beulah’ was a place you could go in your dreams. You could go there in meditation, to relax and heal and center yourself. It wasn’t a place you could stay, but you came back to the world in a better state.”

Together with Alabama Shakes keyboard player Ben Tanner and Muscle Shoals native Will Trapp, he founded and runs Single Lock Records, a local indie label that has released records by the likes of Dylan LeBlanc, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, and legendary songwriter and keyboard player Donnie Fritts. The label is based in a small ranch house a stone’s throw from White’s own home, which would come in handy when those songs started invading his head, the press materials state.

“Honestly, I tried to avoid them, but then I realized the only way I was going to get rid of them was if I wrote them down,” White states. “I got my phone out and I’d sing these little bits of melody, then put it away and move on. But eventually I got to a place where it was a roar in my head, and that pissed me off.”

Due to his experiences as a gun-for-hire in Nashville, White was reluctant to romanticize the creative process, to turn it into a spiritual pursuit, his PR states. “Then one day I told my wife I think I’m going to go write a song. She was as surprised as I was. I went and wrote probably eight songs in three days. It was like turning on a faucet.”

Tickets are $16 in advance, $18 day of show. They are also available by phone through Hold My Ticket at (505) 886-1251.

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