The first time I saw Pokey LaFarge, he was walking around the grounds of the 2010 Newport Folk Festival wearing a suit and tie, with his hair slicked down. To tell the truth, I thought, "Who is this guy? What's his shtick?" A few hours later, I saw him on stage playing with his band The South City Three, and I realized that this was a man with a vision and a passion for music from way before his time.
NPR Music broadcast that concert from Newport, and Jack White heard it — soon afterward, White asked LaFarge to record for his Third Man Records label. In fact, he now has a 78 of his own coming out.
Pokey LaFarge writes and performs original and sometimes traditional music, steeped in American blues, country and Western swing from the days when 78s ruled the record player. LaFarge's music is honest and infused with respect for the era he loves — particularly the '20s and '30s. When you listen to this music as part of a diet of songs from the 21st century, it feels fresh, fun and altogether outstanding.
- "La La Blues"
- "Pack It Up"
- "Head To Toe"
Michael Katzif (cameras); edited by Bob Boilen; audio by Kevin Wait; photo by Erin Schwartz/NPR