Danko Jones Remembers When the Raconteurs Covered His Song — and He Missed It

"Doctor's orders were that I go to bed early (but I still went on the road)"

BY Alex HudsonPublished Feb 18, 2021

Danko Jones first began raising a racket in Toronto in the late '90s — around the same time that Jack White and Brendan Benson were launching their careers just on the other side of the border in Detroit. Their parallel careers explains how, a decade later, White and Benson ended up covering a Danko Jones song while touring in 2006 with their band the Raconteurs.

They chose the song "Samuel Sin," a fast-and-furious cut from Danko's 2001 album I'm Alive and on Fire. Unfortunately, Jones was unable to hear the cover in person, as he was confined to his hotel room.

The band's singer-guitarist (and namesake) told Exclaim! the full story of how it all went down. Read his account below, and hear the cover song (and the original version) at the bottom of the page. The cover was captured at Malmö, Sweden's Accelerator Festival on July 3, 2006.

In our early days, back in the late '90s, our name spread in the Detroit scene when we hooked up with bands like the Dirtbombs (our bass player JC brought them over for their first Canadian show) and the Demolition Doll Rods. It's the only way I know for the Raconteurs to cover this song.

As far as I know, they only played "Samuel Sin" during the summer of 2006. They changed the key, added back-ups, and even added a guitar solo. I'm flattered and impressed by it.

The other guys in the band saw the Raconteurs play it live while we were on tour in Europe in '06. I wasn't able to see the show because I had just gone through eye surgery and doctor's orders were that I go to bed early (but I still went on the road). JC went backstage and met the band. I wish I wasn't so dutiful and just went to the show that night. JC kept calling my hotel room, too, but I was unable to get up. Damn eye surgery!!!

I went to see the Raconteurs back in 2008 in Amsterdam when we were staying there over a summer. On the day of the show, I introduced myself to their crew and got put on the guest list but was unable to meet the band after. So I still have never met Jack White, despite a line of mutual friends.

There was also the time where a mutual friend called me up and let me listen to Mastodon soundcheck our song "Lovercall," but that's for another column, I guess...

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