Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Pokey’s got it. And it’s his own brand of rootsy Americana that spotlights a seamlessly shuffled together fusion of country blues, jazz, ragtime with strings, vaudeville and Western swing. True to his heart his music entices with old-fashioned sensibilities but it doesn’t fall for a dullsville descent into nostalgia. Rather, with brisk and punchy delivery he cheers the new, the sharp, the infectious. He’s a fine writer too, passionate and observant, the mighty pen habitually dancing in his fingers. “The manic revelation is the state where artists create. I got to the point in writing these songs where I felt like a house on fire that just kept burning.” Burning down the house with his latest album titled, yes, “Manic Revelations (2017)”. With this work, he feels “Now I’ve found my groove. Nobody looks and sounds like me. And I’m ok with that.”
He’s always felt live shows are the best representation of his and his band's music. But the new cd seriously challenges that notion with immediacy and a merciless truth in songs like the sweet and sour crooner “(It takes a) Better Man Than Me (to win your heart)”. But probably not a better musician, girl.
Pokey LaFarge’s voice croons and carols, yips and yells and trills. And when on some songs the horns or the harmonica come in you think you’re gonna melt. Almost always dapper in a blue suit, vest, and tie, Pokey LaFarge’s a known quantity. Born in St. Louis under a different name, the deep running Missouri, the longest river in N.America, is pumping through his veins, gliding, drifting, undeterred, offering eternal wisdom. He’s influenced by Sleepy John Estes, Willie Dixon, Fats Waller, Bill Monroe a.o. and Pokey opened for Jack White on the Blunderbuss tour and together with Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks he scored the standard “Lovesick Blues” for the TV series “Boardwalk Empire”. He’s got another bump up in this career and notoriety when he got cast in the role of Hank Snow in six episodes of CMT’s “Sun Records” series which also featured his song “Wanna Be A Man”. “I guess they just needed someone with a big forehead and big ears.”
Live at El Lokal, Pokey LaFarge. He’ll definitely come out swinging.