The full title of Jim White's 1997 debut, The Mysterious Tale of How I Shouted Wrong-Eyed Jesus, tells you almost everything you need to know about this Southern gothic savant. What it doesn't tell is how much beauty his music contains, how he orchestrates voices and whistles, loops and found sounds, pedal steel and banjo into small, dark movies of Southern life. In their beauty they rise above primitivism and local color and become universal. That transcendence is everywhere apparent on this year's Where It Hits You, his first studio album in five years, and one of the funniest and wisest country-folk albums of the year.
Once in a Lifetime: Jim White rarely tours widely enough to bring him to St. Louis. This week's show could be your first and last chance to see this true genius in action.
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