Pop & Hiss premieres “Nobody’s,” the first single from singer-fiddler-songwriter Lillie Mae Rische, who most recently has been in front of audiences as part of Jack White’s touring band.
Anyone who caught one of Jack White’s shows supporting his latest album, “Lazaretto,” most likely has taken notice of one of the members of his band, singer-fiddler Lillie Mae Rische, who has just released her first single, “Nobody’s,” on White’s Nashville-based Third Man Records label.
Pop & Hiss is premiering the track, an alt-country number that White produced and in which Rische sings of yearning to make a deep connection with a romantic interest who doesn’t show the same level of interest.
She co-wrote the song, and the flip side, "Same Eyes," with members of the group who backed her: steel guitarist Carl Broemel from My Morning Jacket, bassists Jack Lawrence and Dominic Davis and drummer Whip Triplet. It's part of the "Blue Series" of vintage-style 45 rpm releases from Third Man. Here's 'Nobody's':
The experience playing in White’s band and interacting with his wide-ranging circle of musician friends has been an eye opener for Rische, who grew up playing chiefly with her siblings and parents as their family moved from trailer park to trailer park around the South.
“I come from a bluegrass-country background,” Rische said from her home of recent years in Decatur, Ala., about 115 miles south of Nashville. “Where else would I have met any of these people, some of whom have a hip-hop background, some are from rock 'n' roll -- all different kinds of people. I never would have.”
She said White invited her to play on a recording session he was doing for a film soundtrack, and then: “They just kept calling back and calling back. I sang on one song on his last album. It’s been a really busy couple of years with him.”
"Times are hard right now -- in every business," she said. "I definitely was lucky to land a gig like this during the last couple of hard years."
Rische first started getting noticed while she was a teenager singing in Jypsi, the family band that had dazzled audiences in the country music capital with its regular performances at Layla’s Bluegrass Inn. All the buzz scored Jypsi a California gig at the Stagecoach Country Music Festival in Indio in 2008, even without a major label contract.
But the Nashville establishment didn’t know what to do with a group fronted by three freewheeling sisters who looked like they had stepped off the set of a late-'60s psychedelic movie, and who played with extraordinary musical dexterity while effortlessly spinning out tight three- and four-part (with their guitarist brother Frank) harmonies on a par with the tightest bluegrass vocal groups.
Rische will be releasing a full album in February, one she recorded in Decatur with backing from the Kenneth Brian Band, with whom she has been performing frequently when not occupied supporting White.
The album, she said, “is very different” than the two tracks she recorded with White. “When I did that with Jack, he brought in musicians I’d never played with before. That would be quite a bit different than playing with the usual people I’m with. My family also played on the album I did.”
Also, she noted, in focusing the attention on her voice, the new single “has no harmonies on it. Coming from what I was in before, that’s quite a bit different. That’s what I love to do, you know. But [White] has a different way of recording and going about things. He likes to keep things new and fresh and interesting. It keeps things from getting stagnant.”
Follow @RandyLewis2 on Twitter for pop music coverage.