When Jack White announced he was producing Loretta Lynn's LP Van Lear Rose in 2004, some country fans balked at the idea of the White Stripe tapping his distortion-pedal-loving toes all over the Coal Miner's Daughter's timeless pipes. Of course, the combination makes perfect sense now, and their duet, "Portland, Oregon," showed just how reverential of the past White is — as well as just how progressive Lynn could be, blue-sequin prairie gown and all.
Though the two haven't interacted much in recent years, at least in the public sphere, they'll reconnect in Nashville on January 28th at the Bridgestone Arena, where Lynn will be White's opening act for the large-scale gig in his adopted hometown.
Knowing White's adoration for the 82-year-old legend, it's likely to be more of a collaborative experience than a second-rate opening slot as the seats fill and attendees trickle in. A song or two together is a good bet, especially since the performance is timed to the upcoming 10-year anniversary of Van Lear Rose. Lynn even canceled some previously scheduled Texas dates in order for her to appear with White, her management releasing this statement: "Loretta Lynn has been presented with a unique opportunity to play a special engagement in Nashville with Jack White to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the multi-Grammy Award-winning album Van Lear Rose, which they produced together." In short, this won't be just any old night.
Whether this signals a second chapter in the White/Lynn experience, time will tell — though she did confess to Billboard in 2013 that dialing up the guitarist to work together again is on her agenda. Lynn's been coming back strong of late, singing with Kacey Musgraves at the CMA Awards, signing a multi-album deal with Sony and headlining a stellar Ryman Auditorium run. While her first planned release will be produced by her daughter Patsy Lynn Russell and John Carter Cash, a new White collaboration would certainly be a welcome element to the collection. But for now, the Bridgestone stage will have to do.