Michael Davis Pratt carries something of a reputation for literary narratives during his live performances, but most importantly he isn't known as MDP on stage - he is plain ole Jim White. Keep it simple. Having steered his childhood through a Pentecostal family background in Florida, Pratt-soon-to-be-White caught the singing and performing bug during his teens, skimming through various jobs before picking up the guitar and writing verse.
But not just any old verse - having been influenced by matters gospel, there has always been a preacherman's bent within Jim White's soul, best displayed on the part-biographical debut album, 'The Mysterious Tale Of How I Shouted Wrong-Eyed Jesus'. Mixing Southern pathos with an off-the-cuff interpretation of country music might have led some observers to presume White to be a God-fearing artist from the wrong side of the tracks, but this is a man who has embraced his local roots, his family and his faith without letting it spill over into soap-box territory. A twinkling of the eye and dry understated humour is as deep as it gets.
That first album appeared on David Byrne's Luaka Bop label, followed by a few more gleefully lapped up full-length releases. One such album was 2007's critically-acclaimed 'Transnormal Skiperoo', the one with the smiling kid and the bewildered alsatian wearing a surgical collar. The cover alone is as intriguing as its contents.
2012 will see another White album hit the shelves and servers very soon, with a tour lined up in the summer. 'Where It Hits You' is the troubadour's 6th studio set in 25 years, proving to some degree that his own family life takes precedence over being a touring musician. Who knows, he may live out his dream of returning to academia sometime soon, so this maybe his last UK visit, for a while at least.
His June shows begin at the Brighton Ballroom on 6th June, followed by London's Union Chapel on the 7th, then Newcastle, Salford, Birmingham and finally Bristol on the 12th. We will have tickets from Wednesday 4th April at 9am, priced at from just £10 for the Birmingham show, rising to £17.50 for London.