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Signs & SignifiersNamed as an artist you should know in 2011 by NPR, singer/songwriter JD McPherson makes his Rounder Records debut with the release of Signs & Signifiers which All Music calls a rockin', bluesy, forward-thinking album that subtly breaks the conventions of most vintage rock projects. McPherson is an artist with an unaffected take on vital American music and a voice that channels the spirit of Little Richard and James Brown.
The seductively kickass 12-song set finds this renaissance man/hepcat seamlessly meshing the old and the new, the primal and the sophisticated, on a work that will satisfy traditional American rock 'n' roll and R&B purists while also exhibiting McPherson's rarified gift for mixing and matching disparate stylistic shapes and textures. Recorded on analog equipment through vintage microphones and a 1960s Berlant 1/4 inch tape machine, Signs & Signifiers marks the arrival of an authentic, gutsy American artist.
Featuring JD McPherson (lead and backing vocals, guitar), Jimmy Sutton (bass), and Alex Hall (drums, piano, organ), the album also hosts an array of guest musicians, including Scott Ligon on piano (NRBQ's Terry Adams Rock & Roll Quartet); Jonathan Doyle (Nick Curran & the Lowlifes, White Ghost Shivers); Chicago's Josh Bell (The Del Moroccos) on tenor and baritone saxophones; Susan Voelz (Alejandro Escovedo, Poi Dog Pondering) on violin; Allison Chesley (Helen Money) on cello; and Joel Paterson (The Modern Sounds) lends choice guitar work to the Joey Simone classic Your Love (All That I'm Missing).1. North Side Gal
2. Country Boy
3. Fire Bug
4. Signs & Signifiers
5. Wolf Teeth
6. Scratching Circles
7. A Gentle Awakening
8. Dimes for Nickles
10. I Can't Complain
11. Your Love (All That I'm Missing)
12. Scandalous$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Something In The WaterPokey Lafarge and his band bring a focus and energy to the American Roots genre with infectious original material that sits at the crossroads of early jazz, country blues and western swing. With his effortless charisma and distinctive charm, Pokey has crafted a genre all his own--and one that extends well beyond the music alone.
Produced by Jimmy Sutton (best known for his work with JD McPherson), Something in the Water marks a new landmark in Pokey's career. The dozen-song set features a diverse cast of talented players, including Pokey's own longstanding touring combo as well as members of such notable outfits as NRBQ, the Fat Babies, the Modern Sounds, and the Western Elstons. Something in the Water finds Pokey expanding and deepening his musical reach on such new originals as the wry, rollicking title track, the swaggering ragtime workout "Wanna Be Your Man," the infectiously jazzy "Underground," the evocative crooner "Cairo, Illinois," the exotic ballad "Barcelona" and the swinging album-closer "Knocking the Dust off the Rust Belt Tonight," whose witty lyrics underline the album's proudly Midwestern sensibility.1. Something in the Water
2. Wanna Be Your Man
4. When Did You Leave Heaven
5. Cairo, Illinois
6. Actin' A Fool
7. All Night Long
8. Goodbye. Barcelona
9. Far Away
10. The Spark
11. Bad Girl
12. Knocking the Dust Off the Rust Belt Tonight$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Undivided Heart & Soul (Pre-Order)Undivided Heart & Soul, produced by Dan Molad (Lucius) and
McPherson, and developed largely in the studio (that studio being the historic
RCA Studio B in Nashville), carries a sense of immediacy and irreverence.
"In writing this record, I threw several handfuls of caution to the wind.
Lyrically, I was allowing myself to be exposed in a way I never have before.
Concurrently, maybe as some sort of a self-defense mechanism, the guitars
got fuzzier and louder. The first day at RCA was like being in church...
by the second day, it was a high school band's rehearsal space."
Putting the hands of Dan Molad on the wheel of the record ensured that
the music didn't take too many expected turns. "Having toured with
Lucius and befriended Dan, I knew he was the guy to push my buttons
and challenge me to try new things. He's a tireless worker. He's constantly
tinkering away on something... and music just falls out of him."
The vintage recording equipment and instruments still housed
in RCA Studio B greatly informed the direction of the record. "Each night,
at the end of tracking, someone would invariably say, 'You wanna put vibes
on this?', speaking of the old RCA Vibraphone. I mean, you can hear THAT
vibraphone on Roy Orbison's 'Crying'... we couldn't keep our hands off of it.
It guided some of the songs into some strange and wonderful places.
'Lucky Penny' took such a cool turn once Ray (Jacildo, keys) added some to it.
We wrote several songs on the piano that Floyd Cramer played 'Last
Date' on. We were soaking up so much of the phantom energy in
that room, it led to some incredible sonic territory."
"Most folks know us for our take on vintage R&B and early Rock N' Roll.
The past year, I've been digging so much into the heavier, brasher sounds of
early Rock N' Roll... from bands like The Sonics, Link Wray, and into some
early British Rock such as The Creation... these influences feature heavily in
these songs. The tunes that showed up weren't exactly always in familiar
territory, and... we greeted them as welcome strangers. They have a lot
of heart... and that's what Rock N' Roll should always have."1. Desperate Love
2. Crying's Just A Thing You Do
3. Lucky Penny
4. Hunting For Sugar
5. On The Lips
6. Undivided Heart & Soul
7. Bloodhound Rock
8. Style (Is A Losing Game)
10. Under The Spell Of City Lights
11. Let's Get Out Of Here While We're Young$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed PRE-ORDER Buy Now