There are many ways to describe the work of master singer-songwriter John Paul White. If forced to distill to a single word to describe his aesthetic it would be bittersweet.
So, to learn that White’s upcoming third solo release is entitled “The Hurting Kind” made perfect sense. The king of melancholy is back in the saddle.
Then you hear the single ‘The Long Way Home’ (listen below) from the album and, damn if it isn’t jaunty, defiant even. The cover displays White in his usual dark suit casual dapper persona and tassel of hair, his briskly strummed acoustic guitar strides right into a backbeat and, what’s that, pedal steel! But just behind the sonic rhinestones are weary miles of separation from loved ones, and hope and longing intertwin to lead him back to hearth and home. I’ve read that this song brought White’s youngest child to tears. That’s the power and humility of art.
I have no inside knowledge of this, but it’s been a theory of mine that the isolation of the road was once os the main reasons the Civil Wars called it a day at the height of their popularity. We all see the glamour of the working musician with no thought to the grind that it can be,
But this is no woe-is-me lament. This is a song with a higher intention. To celebrate and focus, on the big portrait of the loved ones that make the cookie-cutter hotels and stale-beer bars tolerable.
‘The Hurting Kind’ is out April 12 on Single Lock Records. Pre-order it here.
The Hurting Kind Tracklist:
01. The Good Old Days
02. I Wish I Could Write You a Song
03. Heart Like a Kite
04. Yesterday’s Love
05. The Long Way Home
06. The Hurting Kind
07. This Isn’t Gonna End Well (featuring Lee Ann Womack)
08. You Lost Me
10. My Dreams Have All Come True