Jack White’s love of all things country and western is deeply embedded into his character. The singer and guitar impresario has always had a fondness for the icons of country music, especially the Queens of the genre.
While The White Stripes’ cover of Dolly Parton’s brilliant ‘Jolene’ might be one of the greatest covers of all time, it is on the band’s cover of Loretta Lynn’s ‘Rated X’ that White really gets down and dirty.
The singer’s fascination with Lynn goes further back than his 2004 production of her album Van Lear Rose album and his subsequent outpourings of adoration every time he passes through Tennessee.
It goes back to 2001 with this rollicking cover of the country classic. You can watch the fan footage of The White Stripes covering Lynn’s ‘Rated X’ at a Detroit gig in 2001, below.
Lynna and White’s collaboration on Van Lear Rose proved to be some of Lynn’s most well-received work. In early 2005, the LP earned the Grammy for Best Country Album and ‘Portland, Oregon,’ was the Grammy winner for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals—clearly a match made in heaven
“When you work with someone like her, you forget everything else,” White said of Lynn on the red carpet at the 2010 Grammy ‘Salute to Country Music’ which honored the singer’s 60-year career. “You can’t imagine this talent is right in front of your eyes. These things that you’re hearing, they just don’t seem human.”
The performance holds everything the Stripes’ ‘Jolene’ does. A deeply poignant country track given the distorted treatment as it gets chewed up, spit out and somehow remains stronger than ever.
Listen to The White Stripes dirty performance of Loretta Lynn’s ‘Rated X’ from their Detroit show in 2001.