Pokey LaFarge (MO)
Pokey LaFarge first turned our heads when he appeared at the 2011 festival, a young man from St. Louis who dedicated himself to respecting, reviving, restoring and reconfiguring the popular music of his hometown from the interwar era of 1918-1941. He came, he played early jazz, ragtime, country blues, Western swing, and beyond – and he definitely conquered. He’s been back in town since, but this is the first time we’re seeing him again at the VFMF. So what has he been up to since we last fested together, you might wonder? Turns out, a lot!
He had just released Riverboat Soul and then made Middle of Everywhere (both named Best Americana Album by the Independent Music Awards), and the concert set Live In Holland.
Longstanding admirer Jack White added him to his label roster for the 2011 EP Chittlin’ Cookin’ Time in Cheatham County (which White produced) and the 2013 album Pokey LaFarge, as well as enlisting Pokey to open for White’s Blunderbuss album tour. Also in 2013, Pokey was featured on the soundtrack of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, performing the jazz standard Lovesick Blues with Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks. 2014 was LaFarge’s busiest year yet, with the hard-working artist performing on five continents, including tours in India, Australia and New Zealand as well as extensive roadwork in the United States, Canada, UK, Ireland, and The Netherlands. Pokey has just released Something in the Water, his seventh album and his Rounder Records debut.
He continues to draw from the deep well of American musical traditions to create distinctively personal music that’s timeless rather than retro, and continues to build on a stellar reputation as a tireless, uniquely charismatic live performer. So welcome back to the park, Pokey – we’re glad to see ya!