Two Fingers of Whiskey Played by Two Greats: Jack White and Elton John

Listen to the bluesy ‘American Sessions’ duet

June 7, 2017
Musicians Jack White and Elton John

USA Today

Last night (6/6), The American Epic Sessions—the accompanying film to the Jack White-executive-produced documentary, American Epic—aired on PBS.

While American Epic, which focused on how America first recorded music, came first, Sessions, which followed, was all about putting those recording methods into practice. To do so, today’s musicians (think: Beck, Nas, Willie Nelson, Alabama Shakes, and more) used rebuilt versions of the original 1920s equipment that was first used to record music. Below is just one example from the film’s use of this old technology.

According to Pitchfork, Elton John's collaborator, Bernie Taupin, gave John lyrics and asked him to improvise a new song with the lyrics. Jack White plays along to John's piano, and the entire thing, called “Two Fingers of Whiskey,” was recorded to wax, as per the original '20s recording style.

It’s hard to believe Elton John turned 70 this year with a voice like that. It’s also hard to believe this was an improvised tune because of the way John’s and White’s voices weave together for the perfect blues sound.

What do you think of the American Sessions duet?