Jim White is an interesting character. Having severed his ties with David Byrne's Luaka Bop label, he has funded the release of this new album by embarking on a Kickstarter campaign in which he offered backers deluxe editions for their dollars in advance, as well as an expensive yard-clearing, lawn-mowing service coupled with a performance in your home, for those who paid the premium amounts. Well, that fundraising has worked because Where It Hits You is here, lavishly recorded in Athens, Georgia with a huge range of musicians and released in many different editions.

White is often labelled as a country songwriter, and it's true that he is often bracketed with the likes of the Handsome Family and 16 Horsepower. However, people tend to forget that he has collaborated with artists as varied as Morcheeba and Bill Frisell in the past, and on this new album he has kept his range of musicians very varied as well.

Jim White came to music late, recording his debut 'Wrong Eyed Jesus' in his 40's, reportedly having worked as a comedian, a fashion model, a boxer, a preacher, a professional surfer, and a New York cab driver. He comes across as a larger than life character with plenty of stories to tell, so the world of country and folk is his natural home.

'Where It Hits You' is his fifth studio album and is a slice of luscious Americana, not unlike some of the work of Lambchop, in that it is rooted within country music yet it uses such a wide range of sounds and influences that it ends up being something distinct.

White is a natural storyteller, a balladeer, and most of these songs run for over five minutes because of this. His singing style is laidback, sometimes half-spoken, yet there is something strangely melodic about it. Apart from the way he weaves a story, the other impressive thing about this album is the sheer variety of the songs. Although there isn't a specific structure to the order of the songs, it sounds like they have been sequenced to build from a dreamy, gentle opening set, through to more traditional country song structures with some upbeat, almost carefree songs in the centre. The end sequence of songs turns out to be downbeat and reflective.

'Chase the Dark Away' starts off the album with a gentle dreamy piano line with guitars colliding and floating along with the breezy tune. 'Sunday's Refrain' makes good use of light and shade, and comes across like Little Feat or the more mainstream Captain Beefheart recordings. Overall this band that White has assembled play together with a lightness and effortlessness that is a skill in itself. 'The Way of Alone', has loads of space in the arrangement and lots of understated banjo, whilst 'State of Grace' is pure country singalong with some virtuoso playing.

'Infinite Mind' is catchy and carefree and 'What Rocks Will Never Know' is in a similar vein, with some infectious whistling. 'Here We Go' features a jokey exchange with a child at the beginning and it has a strong 'country-got-soul' vibe. The entire middle section of the album is in this light-hearted vein and I have to say it contrasts starkly with the darker songs that close the album.

'My Brother's Keeper' is the longest song here, it is a story song that floats along with subtle percussion and washes of ambient sound. The spoken opening starts to tell the tale of a man called Harry Allen and turns into a downbeat ballad about how he "gained 300 lbs and wouldn't leave his house", eventually meeting a sad end. This has a touch of Southern gothic about it, slightly more in keeping with what people might expect from Jim White.

'The withered blue sky' is a lovely spooky atmospheric song and 'Epilogue to a marriage' is similarly downbeat, with hardly any drums and mostly pedal steel and banjo to the fore throughout.

The album closes with 'Why it's Cool' which manages to draw a lot of the individual threads of the album together; plaintive banjo to the fore, understated jazz guitar chords, and White telling a story through his song at the heart of it.

This album may have had a tricky gestation period but it comes across as a worthy addition to Jim White's work to date.