by Jake McKenzie
photo by David James Swanson
When a group of famous musicians forms a new project together, it’s often reflexively labeled a “supergroup.” And no doubt Jack White, Brendan Benson, Patrick Keeler, and Jack Lawrence were individual icons in the blues rock world before they formed The Raconteurs. But they soundly reject the term “supergroup,” claiming it describes something temporary. They prefer to think of their ragtag group as “a new band made up of old friends” and their 2019 release, Help Us Stranger, feels a lot like meeting up with old friends. Their first record in 11 years, this album may not have conquered much new ground, but it proves The Raconteurs can still deliver the same ass-kicking sound that fans love. In true Jack White fashion, the band has been playing a handful of secret shows in tiny clubs, and stalwarts of the bluesy garage-inspired rock sound of the aughts will attest that they rock as hard as ever.