Wednesday, January 22, 2020
– Pokey LaFarge will release "Rock Bottom Rhapsody" on April 10 on New West, his debut with the label.
The 13-song set was produced by Chris Seefried (Fitz and the Tantrums). The album was recorded at Reliable Recorders on Chicago's Northwest Side during the polar vortex of 2019 and features the guitarist Joel Paterson, keyboardist Scott Ligon, upright/electric bassist Jimmy Sutton, and drummer Alex Hall.
This is is LaFarge's first album in more than three years and follows 2017's "Manic Revelations," which was on Rounder Records.
LaFarge also will tour behind the release.
"The man singing these songs isn't exactly the same man that wrote them," said LaFarge. "This album is about the story of who I used to be."
In early 2018 he relocated from his longtime home base of St. Louis to Los Angeles. New songs came quickly to LaFarge in his new environment, but new temptations soon found him, as well. He admits that he experienced a significant "fall from grace" during the last months of 2018.
"Things started to unravel in my mind. I was letting evil spirits and demons rule me, and I came into certain agreements with them, and it took me down. I was giving too much power to darkness, and I got in too deep, and I made some bad decisions. The reality of the situation is that I hit the closet to rock bottom that I ever had, and I've definitely had some hardships in my life."
"It's a case of me writing the story and writing the song, and then unfortunately living it," he said. "I was going towards the darkness. Destruction definitely ensued; self-sabotage and self-destruction definitely happened."
Before recording "Rock Bottom Rhapsody" began, LaFarge experienced a spiritual awakening. "I wrote this record before the fall from grace, and then it was recorded after the fall from grace. So you see how that could be kind of odd," he said. "What I was searching for was peace and humility in the aftermath of carnage, of things I had wrecked, and - seemingly at the time - completely destroyed. I was just trying to survive; I had to fight every time to get up to that microphone and just sing. It was kind of a last stand."
During the recording of the album, LaFarge took a break to take a "dark, sad, villainous role" in the forthcoming Netflix film "The Devil All The Time," produced by music supervisor Randall Poster and the actor Jake Gyllenhaal. "The irony wasn't lost on me that, one month after finding God, the first feature film opportunity that comes across my table has that for a title," he chuckles.
LaFarge will tour as well, starting April 24 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and beginning in the U.S. on May 8 - in Asheville, N.C.
The track listing is:
1. Rock Bottom Rhapsody
2. End of My Rope
3. Fuck Me Up
5. Rock Bottom Reprise
6. Lucky Sometimes
7. Carry On
8. Just The Same
9. Fallen Angel
11. Ain't Comin' Home
12. Lost In The Crowd
13. Rock Bottom Finale
Tour dates are:
April 24 - Rotterdam, Netherlands - Maasilo
April 25 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Paradiso
April 26 - Berlin, Germany - Roadrunners Paradise
April 29 - Paris, France - La Maroquinerie
April 30 - Antwerp, Belgium - De Roma
May 1 Lessines, Belgium - Roots & Roses Festival
May 2 London, UK - Islington Assembly Hall
May 8 - Asheville, NC - The Grey Eagle
May 9 - Mt. Airy, NC - The Earle
May 10 - Charleston, WV NPR's Mountain Stage
May 13 - Lexington, KY The Burl
May 15-16 - St. Louis, MO - Off Broadway
May 17 - Nashville, TN 3rd & Lindsley (Lightning 100)
June 2 Maquoqueta, IA - Codfish Hollow
June 3 - Minneapolis, MN - Fine Line
June 4 - Chicago, IL - Thalia Hall
June 5 - Grand Rapids, MI - Pyramid Scheme
June 6 - Indianapolis, IN - HiFi
June 9 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom
June 10 - Pittsburgh, PA - Thunderbird
June 11 - Philadelphia, PA World Cafe Live
June 12 - Annapolis, MD - Rams Head Live
June 13 - Jersey City, NJ - White Eagle Hall
June 16 - Fairfield, CT - The Warehouse
June 17 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
June 18 - Cambridge, MA - Sinclair
June 19 - Burlington, VT - Higher Ground
June 20 - Albany, NY - The Egg
June 23 Rockport, MA - Shalin Liu
June 24 - Portsmouth, NH - Prescott Park
June 26-27 Toronto, ON - Horseshoe Tavern