Her Dad, legendary Tony Joe White ("Polk Salad Annie" and "Rainy Night in Georgia"), says her voice is like Sade hanging out with John Lee Hooker. Hanging on a mic, or quietly revealing herself behind her old Wurlitzer piano, or prancing like a wild horse, her fiery and raw stage performance has been compared to that of Janis Joplin, Mick Jagger, and Tina Turner. With soul baring lyrics and haunting melodies, her writing has been compared to Van Morrison and Neil Young. Her biggest fans say you can't compare her to anyone. In a world of fabricated pop stars, Michelle White shines like the real thing.
The songstress joins forces with her father for her latest album, a mixture of soul, blues, country, jazz, and Spanish influences. They recorded in an old Victorian house in Tennessee, for 4 days, along with veteran musicians Ollie Marland on piano and co-production, Jack Bruno on drums, Michelle's long time upright bassist Joey Zimmerman, and Tony Joe on guitar. Michelle's brother, Jody, ran the boards, and they captured the happening all on an old analogue tape machine, old school style, blending some modern ideas in the mixing room.
Michelle has a duet with Tony Joe on his new album, THE HEROINES, which features duets by Emmylou Harris, Shelby Lynne, Jessi Colter, and Lucinda Williams. This album was released world wide on Sanctuary Records last fall to spectacular acclaim.
She was reared in the musical hotbeds of South Texas and Memphis, Tennessee, surrounded by famous recording artists and brilliant musicians. "I was influenced very deeply by all of the music I heard growing up," she says.
" I spent most of my days in the 'music room'. There were late night phone calls from Elvis, and the best musicians hanging out playing music and listening to music. I learned to run the reel to reel machine at a very early age." Michelle has worked with many of those brilliant musicians and Grammy award winning producer, John Leventhal, on her first album, "Memphis" which was released to critical acclaim and established a cult following in Europe.
She has played the prestigious Midem in Cannes and France's most famous hall, Bercy, opening for Toto for tens of thousands of people with only her Wurlitzer and bassist. Most recently, Michelle performed live for the BBC in England, and played the infamous Borderline in London, as well as various blues festivals in Europe and local hot spots in L.A. and Nashville.
PRESS QUOTES: (translated from French)
"the very first album of Tony Joe White's daughter is a pure jewel with the nectar of J.J. Cale and the feeling of Rickie Lee Jones. "Memphis" can be played over and over without ever failing or weakening"
GUITARE AND CLAVIERS
"the public was hypnotized by this barefooted priestess and her fevered blues, twirling in what seemed to be an enchanted dance. As a matter of fact, for Michelle, who's behind her keyboards, music is almost a religion, since her faith imposes itself so much on everyone in her audience"
"the beautiful Michelle knows how to concoct catchy themes influenced by good old rhythm and blues, country rock, and Louisiana swamp rock. Since she has a beautiful voice, deep and wise, and that she's been listening to her Dad and J.J. Cale a lot, one lets himself be seduced by her American stories of lost cowboys, girls from Kentucky, or roads to take a life's journey on."
"not easy to be the daughter of a legend like Tony Joe White, but the beautiful Michelle just released "Memphis" an album that proves that obviously 'good blood wouldn't know how to lie' "
LE NOUVEL OBSERVATEUR
"first of all, Michelle is a voice.
warm, deep, articulate....much more mature than her age would let you think...she already has a talent which has a personality that will confirm itself with the coming years...the beautiful ballad "Chasing the Crows Away " with reminiscence somewhere between Van Morrison and Neil Young holds the promises of pretty nice harvests"
"instantly, one is moved by overwhelming sensuality of this lady: feline mane, her jeans that stick to her body, her little black tank top, and her bare feet. She has a natural attitude that fits perfectly with her outdoor blues, played with heart and sung from the gut. Installed behind her organ or hung to her mic as Tina Turner or Janis Joplin, Michelle White sets the mood of the concert with her powerful voice"
"but what MIDEM is really about is Michelle White at the Hotel Martinez, a young unknown from Tennessee via Los Angeles, writing, producing, and financing her own blues album and landing a record deal far from home on Sony France"
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
"true heiress of funky style, swamp rock hero, she signs her first record "Memphis" with character. Michelle has a racy groove, somewhere between Rickie Lee Jones, Joni Mitchell, and Phoebe Snow and a real songwriter temperment, far from the usual rock'n'roll cliches"
"a blues child more famous in Paris than in L.A.?
with her deep voice and her blues inspiration, Michelle White makes us vibe stronger than the quavering stars of country music. Thanks to her father? the very culty Tony Joe White has indeed created a style between blues, rock and rock'n'blues that the French baptised as "swamp rock" Tony Joe: a legend. His songs have been covered by giants like Tina Turner selling millions of copies....like her father, Michelle has been consecrated in France."
"the Daddy's girl who's inspired by Rickie Lee Jones, Sly Stone, and Aretha Franklin renews an old style with her clear voice and her funk-oriented compositions"
"the bewitching ...Michelle White is gifted with a great warm and deep voice, a real talent for songwriting and an innate sense of charismatic presence on stage"
DAILY NEWS MIDEM 1999
"The daughter of famous musician Tony Joe White released her first album "Memphis" last November. True discovery for the winter, Michelle White, singer songwriter, will be exceptionally sided by her father tonight at the New Morning.These are two good reasons to go and discover her captiviating universe."