For music fans, diving into the biographies of their favourite band can be a hobby or a musical rabbit hole that makes you realize how completely small the music world really is. One can quickly discover connections between band members past and present and alternate music acts. Dive deep enough and you’ll discover hundreds of connections that make up a family tree of sorts.
Right away, you can probably name some A-list musicians that have worked together: Trent Reznor and David Bowie, Josh Homme and Dave Grohl, Stevie Nicks and Harry Styles. The combinations are endless. This time, let’s step away from the A-Listers. It’s time to discover undercover musicians who are practically everywhere, who give this musical family tree its roots.
And so I present to you, at the centre of it all (for the second time), a man named Dean Fertita. At the centre of this musical universe, Fertita has crossed paths with all sorts of amazing musicians big and small. Without further ado, I give you part two (for part one- the Josh Homme Lineage go here) of the Dean Fertita Family Tree- The Jack White branch. How deep do the roots run? You’ll have to read on to find out. Bare with me here, it’s about to get complicated.
Branch Two: Jack White and Family
Dean Fertita started off as a frontman for a rock band called The Waxwings who toured with the likes of Matthew Sweet, The Strokes and you guessed it, The White Stripes. Their third album Let’s Make Our Descent, was produced by Brendan Benson (The Raconteurs) and in 2004 when Dominic Romano announced that he would be leaving the band, Benson filled in as their temporary guitarist during their 2004-2005 tour.
Dean Fertita first met Brendan Benson in high school and has since collaborated on several musical projects with him. In 2005, after the Waxwings broke up, Benson asked Fertita to join him on his European tour in support of his newly released solo album. In 2005, Benson formed a band called the Raconteurs and would soon call on Dean again. Brendan Benson also produced and contributed to Fertita’s solo album released in 2009.
While not a member of the Raconteurs, Dean collaborated with the band through out their career thus far. Touring with them for the Broken Boy Soldiers album, Dean played keyboard and organ. Joining them again for the Consolers of the Lonely album in 2008, Fertita added a few clavinet parts. Benson isn’t the only musician in the Raconteurs worth mentioning. Rounding out this super group are Jack White (The White Stripes, The Dead Weather), Jack Lawrence (The Greenhornes, The Dead Weather, City and Colour) and Patrick Keeler (The Greenhornes, Afghan Wigs).
The Dead Weather
Let’s talk The Dead Weather; Dean’s direct bloodline to Jack White. After touring with The Raconteurs, joining a band with Jack White and Lawrence was a natural segue. Dean joined The Dead Weather in 2009, when the band was created, as guitarist and keyboardist alongside fellow band members Jack Lawrence, Allison Mosshart (The Kills, Discount) and of course, Jack White.
There you have it- side two complete. The connections could go much further. For example, Dean has toured with Jack White, replacing Ikey Owens (an amazing talented pianist who passed away in 2014). Ikey Owens is a former member of Mars Volta (see what I mean when I say musical rabbit hole?).