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Jack White covering Al Capone on upcoming album

Jack White meets the mafia.

Jack White sheds new light on the world’s most notorious gangster

Jack White does so many different things that no one else in the main stream remotely thinks of. Every time he writes music or does anything for that matter, he seeks to challenge himself to try new things that can often times be absurd.

In his upcoming third studio solo LP Boarding House Reach, White seems to be doing plenty of that. One of the most curious aspects of this record is that the closing track is actually a cover of something written by notorious Chicago gangster Al Capone.

The news of this comes from a new Rolling Stone artist profile for White, which says:

“Last year, White purchased a musical manuscript written by Al Capone in Alcatraz (in the 1920s, even gangsters could read and write music) for a song called “Humoresque”: “You thrill and fill this heart of mine / With gladness like a soothing symphony.”

Capone, it seems, played tenor banjo in a prison band with Machine Gun Kelly on drums. The song, a take on a Dvorák work, turns out to have been recollected, not composed, by Capone, but White still ended up recording it as the closing track on his new album.

He’s moved by the idea that a famous murderer had a weakness for such “a gentle, beautiful song.” “It shows you, like, what we were talking about earlier,” he adds. “Human beings are complicated creatures with lots of emotions going on.””

Boarding House Reach comes out March 23 via Third Man Records.

Boarding House Reach can be pre-ordered here.

Jack White is about to be heading out on the road for a massive US tour. Any tickets left can be found and purchased here.

Keep up with music at Salute.

Listen: Jack White Over and Over and Over

  • Kaliduurga

    Jack White is not “covering Al Capone”. Humoresque was not written by Capone, he transcribed it so that he could have a copy. The lyrics were written by Howard Johnson.

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