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Jack White's Got New Stripes

Detroit's White, Brendan Benson launch indie supergroup

March 16, 2006 1:35 PM ET

For years, rock fans have been waiting to hear what Jack White would do with more than just a drummer. Now the wait is over. His new band, the Raconteurs -- born of an informal jam session in songsmith Brendan Benson's Detroit attic last year -- have become the White Stripes frontman's number-one priority. "This year, the Raconteurs is definitely what I'm interested in doing," he says.

After recruiting longtime buddies Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler of the Greenhornes for its rhythm section, the band started writing and recording whenever it could grab some free time. The final product combines White's scorching blues punk, Benson's hard-edged power pop and the Greenhornes' nouveau-garage psychedelia, though the band is reluctant to put any labels on its sound. The mellow acoustic duet "Together" features White and Benson trading verses; "Store Bought Bones" is a fuzz-laden, staccato rave-up.

With the single "Steady, As She Goes" on shelves now, the Raconteurs are taking flight; fans will get their first taste of the group in action on a minitour of Britain, kicking off March 20th in Liverpool. Broken Boy Soldiers, their full-length, is slated for release May 16th. "The other day Patrick had a dream that the band was like Big Star," says Benson. "I was like, 'Cool!' And he says, 'No, the record failed and we played three shows and that was the end of it.' Everyone is pretty excited, but we feel the pressure -- like, 'Oh, shit, this better be good.'"

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