Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three will appear on Jack White‘s new album Blunderbuss on the track “I Guess I Should Go To Sleep” – Blunderbuss is due out on Tuesday, April 24, 2012. Pokey LaFarge performs on vocals and mandolin, and the South City Three appears as follows: Ryan Koenig on vocals, Adam Hoskins on guitar, and Joey Glynn on upright bass. Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three are confirmed to open up for Jack White’s Los Angeles dates supporting Blunderbuss at The Wiltern on May 30 & 31, 2012. Interviews and photos are available upon request.
Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three have had quite a breakout year following the release of their latest full-length studio album, Middle of Everywhere (Free Dirt Records, July 2011), vinyl release on Jack White’s Third Man Records, numerous celebrated festival appearances, and regional touring. 2011 was bookended by White talking up Pokey in an interview with the New York Times at SXSW 2011, and Pokey appearing on the 19th annual Hootenanny with Jools Holland, which aired December 31, 2011 on BBC Two.
Throughout the past year, Pokey has received standout coverage with Billboard Magazine, Paste, Blurt, Daytrotter, Design Sponge, MOJO, Sirius/XM; NPR ran an “Exclusive First Listen” for Middle of Everywhere and the band performed a “Tiny Desk Concert,” and he appeared on Nashville’s “Music City Roots.” Acoustic Guitar Magazine is scheduled to run a feature on Pokey in an upcoming summer issue. The 11th Annual Independent Music Awards just nominated Middle of Everywhere for “Best Americana Album,” and the track “Ain’t the Same” is up for “Best Americana Song.” Winners will be determined by a panel of celebrity judges, and will be announced in April 2012.
In 2011, Pokey performed nearly 200 live shows and appeared at renowned music festivals throughout Europe and North America, including a return to Newport Folk Festival in Newport, RI and a first-time appearance at the Americana Music Festival in Nashville, TN. While in Nashville for the AMA’s, he opened up for two sold-out shows for The Raconteurs. Throughout 2011 and thus far in 2012, he’s shared the stage with Southern Culture on the Skids, Eilen Jewell, Frank Fairfield, Two Man Gentlemen Band, The Dirt Daubers, The Wilders, and other notable artists. Pokey has headlined some of the country’s finest venues and has appeared at Newport Folk Festival 2010/2011, Pickathon 2011, Vancouver Folk Festival and Watermelon Park Festival, among others.
Pokey LaFarge is a traditional American music purist channeling American roots, country blues, and jazz traditions of the early 20th century. Musically timeless and stylistically original, Pokey and the South City Three are helping pave the way in the growing eminence of contemporary American music spreading like wildfire across the world. Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three released Middle of Everywhere (Free Dirt Records) on July 19, 2011, and a vinyl recording via Jack White’s Third Man Records’ Blue Series (Vinyl 45s) featuring an original Pokey song, “Pack It Up,” and a rendition of the famous Fiddlin’ Arthur Smith tune, “Chittlin’ Cookin’ Time in Cheatham County;” the vinyl was released on March 24, 2011.
On Middle of Everywhere, Pokey LaFarge doesn’t just pay homage to his artistic forbears – he commandeers their legacies and creates something innovative – he mashes Midwestern country blues with Western swing, sweet harmony vocals, and hints of New Orleans style horns and lap steel. LaFarge’s honest, approachable songwriting chops shine through on such tracks as “Head to Toe,” and “Ain’t the Same,” with the South City Three all the while providing an impeccable up-tempo driving rhythm. The South City Three features some fiercely talented musicians including Ryan Koenig (harmonica, washboard, vocals), Adam Hoskins (guitar and vocals) and Joey Glynn (upright bass and vocals). The musical spark between Pokey and these fine lads is undeniable. Joey Glynn walks up and down the bass like he’s been playing it since the roaring ’20s. Guitarist Adam Hoskins’s pickin’ and slide work is some of the best that’s currently coming out of St. Louis, and Ryan Koenig always brings his A-game with his masterful washboard, percussion and harmonica playing.
Since the release of his studio album, Riverboat Soul (Free Dirt Records, February 2010), which won “Best Americana Album” at the 10th Annual Independent Music Awards, Pokey’s earned praise from critics and fans of a wide spectrum of genres. Recorded in Nashville, TN with production by Phil Harris, Riverboat Soul features the South City Three as well as some old pals Ketch Secor (Old Crow Medicine Show), Tommy Oliviero (Bawn in the Mash) and Travis Stinson joining in on the fun. At a crossroads where Milton Brown, Jimmie Rodgers, and Blind Boy Fuller intersect, the songs on Riverboat Soul are influenced by all that Pokey admires from bygone days, yet they present a wonderfully new sound that combines authentic songwriting and explosive vocals.
Just 27 years old, Pokey LaFarge has been hitching through the countryside and whisking off to faraway lands with different projects since he was 18, including a stint playing mandolin with the Virginia-based group the Hackensaw Boys. His recording career began with the self-released Marmalade (2007), followed shortly by 2008’s Beat, Move & Shake on Big Muddy Records. Having found his sweet spot with the other members of The South City Three, in 2009 Pokey hit the road and began to tour at a mind-spinning pace, quickly winning over crowds throughout America and Europe and appearing with acts such as Old Crow Medicine Show, Hackensaw Boys, Avett Brothers, Donna the Buffalo and more. LaFarge is constantly traveling across the country and drawing inspiration from early American roots music. But it’s more than his persona that’s turning heads; it’s the unique blend of raw talent and refined, idiosyncratic charm that’s turned reviewers into poets as they attempt to label the one-of-a-kind sound of Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three.
For more information on Pokey LaFarge, please visit: http://www.pokeylafarge.net.