Americana/Blues/Jazz/Roots (St. Louis)
Though vintage in its nature, singer/songwriter Pokey LaFarge doesn’t like when his shuffling spin on Western Swing, Ragtime and Country Blues is called “old-timey.” Fair enough. But the alleged misnomer is understandable — as his bio admits, his songs would make for the perfect soundtrack to R. Crumb’s comics. As much as LaFarge displays an encyclopedic grasp on tradition, his music is far from being a traveling Country Bear Jamboree roadshow. LaFarge is a fantastic arranger/songwriter, no matter when he was born. He and his backing trio have been touring Europe to wildly receptive audiences and the crowds are getting bigger in the States, too, thanks in at least small part to earning the seal of approval from Jack White, who released a single from LaFarge on his Third Man label.
You’ll Dig It If You Dig: LaFarge’s major influences: Bob Wills, Blind Boy Fuller and Jimmie Rodgers. (Mike Breen, CityBeat)
~ “[Pokey LaFarge] studies the past and makes it his own.... His voice is strong and warm and the show he and the South City Three put on at Newport was simply charming. The sentiment in ['Feels So Good'] pretty well sums up what I love about this band.” (NPR)
~ “Following hot on Dan Hick’s idiosyncratic heels is a twentysomething acoustic warrior named Pokey LaFarge, who makes a bigger, more lasting impression playing kazoo and guitar than his pop-mainstream competition makes fronting entire electrified bands. A vocal polymorph, he shifts effortlessly from Gus Cannon–style jug-band humor ('Mr. Nobody') to Mississippi John Hurt–style pathos ('Josephine') through two indie albums of original material. This itinerant Kentucky-bred minstrel name-checks everybody from Bessie Smith and Guy Clark to Femi Kuti as influences on his MySpace page, where he proudly tags his own recordings 'Riverboat Soul.'" (Village Voice)