Theoretically, Patrick Keeler should be the most schizophrenic drummer in modern rock. With bassist Jack Lawrence, he anchors two bands — Jack White’s side project The Raconteurs and his 14-year-old trio The Greenhornes (with frontman Craig Fox). And he is a session regular at White’s bustling Nashville, Tenn., studio and label Third Man, where he just wrapped the upcoming Wanda Jackson comeback. Third Man is issuing the Greenhornes’ fourth salvo — the shrewdly titled “****” — on CD and a limited vinyl run in four different colors.
Is it tough remembering which band you are playing in from day to day? Ha! No, absolutely, I really can! And I admit it, I have been fortunate enough to play in a lot of cool bands.
You are so busy with Third Man assignments, how did you find time to regroup The Greenhornes? Well, there was no reason to break up the band or stop it — it’s too much fun, and we’ve all known each other since we were kids. And honestly, we started recording this album a few years ago, in between the two Raconteurs records. Craig is still living in Cincinnati, and Jack (Lawrence) and I are living in Nashville, so when we could get up there or he could come down, we gradually finished it, with different engineers mixing it. So it took us a lot longer to get it out than we’d hoped. All told, it was probably a month of work, stretched out over a couple of years.
And you backed Loretta Lynn on her recent album? Yes, and that was amazing. It was a great opportunity to be in the studio with her, and one of the first times I recorded in Nashville too. And Wanda Jackson was really cool too. Her record turned out so good, and in person she’s really a hoot.
Is there a Jack White bat phone in your house, so he can alert you to new sessions? Yeah! And a bat signal in the sky with the Third Man logo! But some of it is more a case of just, “Are you around?” And if I am, I’ll cruise on over because we live really close to each other. And that’s how I’ve always played music — it happens as it happens.
How do you like Nashville? I love it. I have a really, really nice house, and my girlfriend and I are definitely into nesting. And everybody’s just really friendly here, and nobody honks. And it’s not like I’m a full-fledged Nashville session musician yet. But, hey, I’m available!
IF YOU GO
Where: The Independent, 628 Divisadero St., San Francisco
When: 8 p.m. Wednesday
Contact: (415) 771-1421, www.ticketweb.com