Singer-songwriter Jordan White has had some odd things happen while performing.
Once, while playing with the band KineticBlu, a 3-pound Chihuahua that has taken on the role of the band’s mascot ran up onstage and was trying to run up the 30-year-old singer’s leg.
Must have been something for the audience to see because White did not let the canine incursion interrupt him.
“I didn’t know what to do, so I just kept playing,” said White, who will appear at the Whiskey Tango, 14000 Bustleton Ave., on Tuesday, July 5.
Another time, a man came onstage and said he wanted to announce the winners of a raffle but instead made a marriage proposal to his girlfriend. At the same moment, another musician was tuning his guitar, completely unaware of the wooing going on just a few feet away.
“It was bizarre,” White said.
White’s upcoming Whiskey Tango gig is a rare Northeast Philly appearance. In a phone interview, White said he also has played at a few other city spots — Connie’s Ric Rac, the Raven Lounge, the Pontiac Grill and the Tin Angel. He said that, along with cover band Fuzzy Bunny Slippers, he previously played at Whiskey Tango and likes its roominess and its stage.
He’ll perform solo for Whiskey Tango’s “New Music Tuesday,” and acoustically. In gigs as far west as Chicago and as far south as Florida, White has played acoustic and electric rock songs professionally for about six years, sometimes with full bands and sometimes solo.
White, who lives in Lansdale, is originally from Cranford, N.J., a town about 20 minutes south of Newark. His family moved to Pennsylvania when he was growing up, and he performs frequently in the Lehigh Valley.
In 2005, White was in the second round of TV’s American Idol. In 2007 and 2008, he toured with East Coast cover bands Impostar and the Fuzzy Bunny Slippers, and also started doing original material with KineticBlu.
Right now, he does about 100 shows a year. That’s great for an artist building a career, but not so hot for White’s social life, since most of those performances are on Friday and Saturday nights.
“I get invitations to parties, but I can’t go because I have a show. It’s rare to have a Friday or Saturday night off,” he said. “I feel my friends think I’m ditching them.”
So, for White, performing is not just his livelihood, it’s his lifestyle.
“From what I’ve seen from the people who are making a living playing music, the reason they got to that level is because they see music as a lifestyle,” he said.
Making a living doesn’t mean making a million dollars, White said, but it requires talent, dedication and endurance.
That means, of course, getting through the occasional bad show. Sometimes, a show is both good and bad, and that depends upon the people in the audience.
“There seems to be two audiences, one that claps and then another one that doesn’t really pay attention,” White said.
Getting that attention requires a strategy and a large repertoire.
“We try to play songs they would know,” he said. “We try to get them interested by playing stuff they would know.”
He and KineticBlu members gauge their audience’s age and draw on the more than 60 cover tunes to get the people engaged.
On the flip side of that, just about every performer can recall the gig at which everything seemed to come together perfectly. For White, that was a few years back during a gig with the Fuzzy Bunny Slippers in Ocean City, Md.
There were about 1,500 in the audience, and everyone was having a great time, he said. “I didn’t want it to end,” he added. “And I didn’t expect that, which made it even better.” ••
Although there is no data on any moles Jordan White might or might not have, just about anything else anybody might want to know about the singer-songwriter, including a list of upcoming performances, can be found on his Web site, www.jordanwhitemusic.com