The differences between Jack White and Dexter Romweber are many and pronounced: White sings with an upper-register howl, punctuated by yelps and stammers. These days, Romweber croons with a cool, tempered bellow. White's guitar squeals and spurts. Romweber's rings and snaps. The collaboration between White and the Dex Romweber Duo, captured at White's Third Man Studios in Nashville, serves to highlight those distinctions and pairs them as complements. "The Wind Did Move," a Romweber original, plays like a cut from the Duo's recent Ruins of Berlin, save for White's Trashmen-meets-Bob Wills interjections. It recalls the riotous days of Romweber's flash-fried psychobilly band, and White's admitted icons, the Flat Duo Jets. On the flip, the trio's cover of the 1930s Geeshie Wiley hit "Last Kind Word Blues" swings and smolders. This take on the country-blues song builds off traded vocal and guitar licks, using their tonal distinctions as point and counterpoint. But it's these differences in tone and character that make this single special—less like either legend hiding in the other's shadow, more like a genuine exploration of possibility that leaves us hoping for more from this Dex Romweber trio.
Dex Romweber Duo plays Friday, Nov. 6, at Troika Music Festival.