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Country - Erschienen am 10. April 2020 | New West Records

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When you've spent most of your career sounding as if you were living in the 21st century by fate rather than by choice, figuring out how to sound more up to date is going to be a complicated thing, and it seems that Pokey LaFarge has been giving that scenario a lot of thought. Since releasing Manic Revelations in 2017, Pokey LaFarge left St. Louis for Los Angeles, experienced what he calls a "fall from grace," had a spiritual reawakening, and recorded 2020's Rock Bottom Rhapsody, in which he clearly wants to change up his usual creative persona as a slightly twangy jazzbo here on a pass from 1923. The rootsy jazz-inflected sound that dominated LaFarge's early albums is wired deep enough into his DNA that he can't entirely shake it in as far as his melodies are concerned, but in terms of his production and arrangements, he's clearly willing to fight that. The distorted vocals and drums on "Fuck Me Up" give the performance a suitably messed-up lo-fi undertow, "Storm a Comin'" is steeped in '60s-style soul, a late-'50s/early-'60s pop vibe informs "End of My Rope," and if the arrangement on "Bluebird" is seriously retro, the circular snap of the drums and the layered vocals on the chorus are a giveaway that someone had been spending some time listening to dance music in a club. At times, Rock Bottom Rhapsody sounds as if LaFarge is trying very hard to break new creative ground for himself, though the results aren't a particularly radical shift from what his fans have come to expect. But if he sounds a bit uncertain about how to present himself, LaFarge's confidence as a songwriter is strong and justifiably so. "Lucky Sometimes" is a love song just sweet enough to work without getting gooey, the folky shuffle of "Just the Same" is well matched to a confessional lyric, and "End of My Rope" nods to his personal troubles without wallowing in self-pity or demanding we feel sorry for him. And if LaFarge's reedy voice still doesn't sound up to date, he's developed enough vocal authority to not sound totally lost outside of a faux-nostalgic context. Pokey LaFarge is still working out the math on how to exist in more than one decade at a time, but Rock Bottom Rhapsody has more than enough good things in it that he's probably going to be just fine wherever he finally settles down. © Mark Deming /TiVo
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Country - Erschienen am 18. Mai 2015 | New Rounder

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Nachdem ihn Jack White im Vorprogramm auf Tour nahm und 2013 sein selbstbetiteltes sechstes Album veröffentlichte, schaffte Andrew Heissler a.k.a. Pokey LaFarge den Durchbruch. Die hohen Chartpositionen dürfte er zwar nach wie vor von unten sehen, aber "Something In The Water" erscheint nun immerhin bei Rounder, der Referenz im Bereich traditioneller US-Musik. Dort passt LaFarge gut hin. Zum ersten Mal hatte er die Möglichkeit, sich im Studio auszutoben. Ein bisschen, zumindest. "Hey, ich bin wirklich an etwas Großem dran", dachte er sich während der Aufnahmen. Obwohl sich sein Stil nicht grundlegend geändert hat, stimmt seine Aussage. Die etwas stärker betonte Rhythmus-Gruppe führt dazu, dass die Stücke swingen, grooven, und zum Hüftschwung verleiten. Die South City Three sind zwar aus dem Bandnamen verschwunden, Joey Glynn (Bass), Adam Hoskins (Gitarre) und Ryan Koenig (Harmonika, Waschbrett, Perkussionen) sind ihm aber treu geblieben. Zu ihnen gesellen sich Bläser und verschiedene Gastmusiker, die den Sound weiter anreichern. Die Regie übernahm Jimmy Sutton, der sich im Roots-Bereich einen Namen als Kontrabassist und Produzent gemacht hat. Klar, alles ist auf Retro angelegt, angefangen bei der Pomade in den Haaren bis hin zur Gestaltung des Covers. Doch die Musik klingt so lebendig, als hätten sich vor 70 Jahren Hank Williams, Bill Monroe und Louis Armstrong in LaFarges Wohnort St. Louis zusammen getan. Die Frische rührt auch daher, dass die meisten Stücke aus LaFarges Feder stammen und dass er nur zweimal tief in die Traditionals-Kiste gegriffen hat, um "All Night Long" (von Tampa Red And The Chicago Five) und "When Did You Leave Heaven" (von Big Bill Broonzy) herauszufischen. Da heißt es: Platte auflegen (Vinyl natürlich!), zurücklehnen und dieser grandiosen Mischung aus Country, Swing, Ragtime, Bluegrass und wer weiß noch was zu lauschen. "Heutzutage ändert sich alles rasant schnell. Bei manchen Sachen kannst du sagen: 'Das stammt aus den 40ern, das aus den 50ern.' Aber was ist '2015'? Keine Ahnung, in zwei Wochen ist wieder alles anders", meint LaFarge zu seinem Retro-Stil, der mitreißend aktuell klingt. Recht hat er. © Laut
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Folk - Erschienen am 19. Juli 2011 | Trade Root Music Group Llc

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Pop - Erschienen am 19. Mai 2017 | New Rounder

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At the end of Manic Revelations, Pokey LaFarge sings "I will never change" -- a sentiment that he's spent the entirety of his sixth studio set disproving. Ditching the old-timey routine that's been his stock in trade since 2008, LaFarge embraces the open-hearted soul of the '60s, a sound that's nearly as retro as the pre-WWII folk, country, and jazz that populated his earlier albums. The shift in sound was propelled by his outrage over the 2014 riots in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of his hometown of St. Louis. Tying this political unrest to the civil rights movement of the '60s, the musician decided a revival of classic soul was the best vehicle for his message. Manic Revelations does benefit from its hopping swing and full-blooded horn section, which gives the record a considerable kinetic kick. LaFarge's reedy voice can sometimes produce a wave of cognitive dissonance -- he's still singing like he's supporting himself with a banjo -- but there are also moments where the two aesthetics merge seamlessly. With its muted trumpet wails and spooky Cab Calloway shuffle, "Mother Nature" walks a fine line between prohibition and juke joint blues, while "Good Luck Charm" is a jaunty folk number punched up by the horn section. Such hybrids speak to LaFarge's musical invention, but don't forget that, at its heart, Manic Revelations is a protest album. He may evoke old sounds but all his songs are about the present, and that means Manic Revelations isn't a stylistic exercise: it's compelling commentary. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop/Rock - Erschienen am 10. September 2021 | New West Records

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If you've been following Illinois-bred troubadour Pokey LaFarge since at least the mid-2010s you'll be familiar with his jazzy throwback brand of folk and country. It's a sound that's earned him a cult fan base, and one which he's found surprising ways to update, dipping into socially aware '60s-style soul on 2017's Manic Revelations and 2020's Rock Bottom Rhapsody. With 2021's In the Blossom of Their Shade, LaFarge takes his musical timelord skills to new heights, concocting a vintage-inspired rock & roll sound deep with decade-bending influences, that somehow remains stylistically coherent. It's also one of his most buoyant albums, playing like a balmy pool-side party. These are hooky songs, full of snappy rhythms and woody analog textures, including tasty tube amp guitar riffs, barroom piano, and woozy organ flourishes. Some of these giddy, back-to-basics aesthetics are at least in part due to Chris Seefried, who co-produced and arranged the album with LaFarge. Also adding an old-school sensibility is engineer/drummer Alex Hall, who previously worked and played on Rock Bottom Rhapsody and at whose Chicago-based Reliable Recorders/Hi-Style Studios LaFarge recorded the album. While many of the tracks on In the Blossom of Their Shade could have been recorded any time between 1950 and 1968, there's a timelessness and genre-bending quality to LaFarge's work that brings to mind artists like Paul Simon and the Kinks' Ray Davies. There's also a strong undercurrent of slippery, '50s-style R&B, and cuts like the swampy "Fine by Me" and the gospel-inflected "Killing Time" conjure a tantalizing hybrid of Creedence Clearwater Revival and Johnny "Guitar" Watson. Whether sidling into the tropical country-reggae of "Get It Fore It's Gone," or rising with throaty passion into the Spanish chorus of the Roy Orbison-esque "Mi Ideal," LaFarge imbues each track with warm ebullience marked by his reedy, pitch-perfect harmonies. While LaFarge might still be a time-traveling rock troubadour, he seems to have found the center of his musical universe with In the Blossom of Their Shade. © Matt Collar /TiVo
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Country - Erschienen am 18. Mai 2015 | New Rounder

Booklet
Nachdem ihn Jack White im Vorprogramm auf Tour nahm und 2013 sein selbstbetiteltes sechstes Album veröffentlichte, schaffte Andrew Heissler a.k.a. Pokey LaFarge den Durchbruch. Die hohen Chartpositionen dürfte er zwar nach wie vor von unten sehen, aber "Something In The Water" erscheint nun immerhin bei Rounder, der Referenz im Bereich traditioneller US-Musik. Dort passt LaFarge gut hin. Zum ersten Mal hatte er die Möglichkeit, sich im Studio auszutoben. Ein bisschen, zumindest. "Hey, ich bin wirklich an etwas Großem dran", dachte er sich während der Aufnahmen. Obwohl sich sein Stil nicht grundlegend geändert hat, stimmt seine Aussage. Die etwas stärker betonte Rhythmus-Gruppe führt dazu, dass die Stücke swingen, grooven, und zum Hüftschwung verleiten. Die South City Three sind zwar aus dem Bandnamen verschwunden, Joey Glynn (Bass), Adam Hoskins (Gitarre) und Ryan Koenig (Harmonika, Waschbrett, Perkussionen) sind ihm aber treu geblieben. Zu ihnen gesellen sich Bläser und verschiedene Gastmusiker, die den Sound weiter anreichern. Die Regie übernahm Jimmy Sutton, der sich im Roots-Bereich einen Namen als Kontrabassist und Produzent gemacht hat. Klar, alles ist auf Retro angelegt, angefangen bei der Pomade in den Haaren bis hin zur Gestaltung des Covers. Doch die Musik klingt so lebendig, als hätten sich vor 70 Jahren Hank Williams, Bill Monroe und Louis Armstrong in LaFarges Wohnort St. Louis zusammen getan. Die Frische rührt auch daher, dass die meisten Stücke aus LaFarges Feder stammen und dass er nur zweimal tief in die Traditionals-Kiste gegriffen hat, um "All Night Long" (von Tampa Red And The Chicago Five) und "When Did You Leave Heaven" (von Big Bill Broonzy) herauszufischen. Da heißt es: Platte auflegen (Vinyl natürlich!), zurücklehnen und dieser grandiosen Mischung aus Country, Swing, Ragtime, Bluegrass und wer weiß noch was zu lauschen. "Heutzutage ändert sich alles rasant schnell. Bei manchen Sachen kannst du sagen: 'Das stammt aus den 40ern, das aus den 50ern.' Aber was ist '2015'? Keine Ahnung, in zwei Wochen ist wieder alles anders", meint LaFarge zu seinem Retro-Stil, der mitreißend aktuell klingt. Recht hat er. © Laut
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CD9,99 €

Folk - Erschienen am 16. Februar 2010 | Trade Root Music Group Llc

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Pop/Rock - Erschienen am 10. September 2021 | New West Records

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Pop - Erschienen am 16. September 2020 | Abkco Music & Records, Inc.

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Pop/Rock - Erschienen am 15. Juni 2021 | New West Records

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Country - Erschienen am 1. Oktober 2012 | Continental Record Services

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CD12,49 €

Pop - Erschienen am 19. Mai 2017 | New Rounder

At the end of Manic Revelations, Pokey LaFarge sings "I will never change" -- a sentiment that he's spent the entirety of his sixth studio set disproving. Ditching the old-timey routine that's been his stock in trade since 2008, LaFarge embraces the open-hearted soul of the '60s, a sound that's nearly as retro as the pre-WWII folk, country, and jazz that populated his earlier albums. The shift in sound was propelled by his outrage over the 2014 riots in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of his hometown of St. Louis. Tying this political unrest to the civil rights movement of the '60s, the musician decided a revival of classic soul was the best vehicle for his message. Manic Revelations does benefit from its hopping swing and full-blooded horn section, which gives the record a considerable kinetic kick. LaFarge's reedy voice can sometimes produce a wave of cognitive dissonance -- he's still singing like he's supporting himself with a banjo -- but there are also moments where the two aesthetics merge seamlessly. With its muted trumpet wails and spooky Cab Calloway shuffle, "Mother Nature" walks a fine line between prohibition and juke joint blues, while "Good Luck Charm" is a jaunty folk number punched up by the horn section. Such hybrids speak to LaFarge's musical invention, but don't forget that, at its heart, Manic Revelations is a protest album. He may evoke old sounds but all his songs are about the present, and that means Manic Revelations isn't a stylistic exercise: it's compelling commentary. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Country - Erschienen am 24. Januar 2020 | New West Records

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Pop/Rock - Erschienen am 21. Juli 2021 | New West Records

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Ragtime - Erschienen am 30. April 2012 | Evangelist

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Country - Erschienen am 1. Januar 2015 | New Rounder

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Pop/Rock - Erschienen am 18. August 2021 | New West Records

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Country - Erschienen am 16. März 2020 | New West Records

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Country - Erschienen am 7. Februar 2020 | New West Records

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Country - Erschienen am 1. April 2020 | New West Records

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