Black Music Matters Festival

Lafarge, McPherson record Oklahoma benefit single

Friday, June 28, 2013 – Oklahoma native JD McPherson and Pokey LaFarge have teamed up to record Bob Wills' classic Good Old Oklahoma, which will be released digitally on June 28 with all proceeds donated to Oklahoma City Community Fund's Tornado Relief endowment.

The effort resulted from the deadly tornados that hit Oklahoma in May.

McPherson says, "This charity does the best work possible by contributing to dozens of local Oklahoma charities directly related to tornado damage relief: rebuilding, clean up, food and water disbursement, pet recovery...you name it. This fund applies to possible future tornadoes, as well as what we're dealing with now." Rolling Stone premiered the track today.

"Pokey and I had been speaking in the days following the May 19th tornadoes about the possibility of recording a benefit song," McPherson said."He came up with the brilliant idea to record Bob Wills' Good Old Oklahoma as a duet. Pokey is from Missouri, but each time he plays in my home state, his band performs that tune and brings the house down. It was a perfect fit."

LaFarge and his band were slated to record a Daytrotter session a few days after the tornado devastated the region and made the impromptu decision to record the track during the session.

"I don't consider myself to be versatile enough a singer to hold a candle to Tommy Duncan's original vocal, but Pokey's sublime, informed performance on the second verse and harmony make the track for me," he said. "Though I'm not built (unfortunately) to sing Oklahoma jazz, I hope that what comes through the speakers is an audible love letter to my beloved home state."

Lafarge said, "It's with great pleasure that I get to work with one of Oklahoma's finest, JD McPherson. To be able to record this Bob Wills tune is all too fitting for a good cause. We hope this helps. We love Oklahoma."

The single is available for purchase from www.jdmcpherson.com and www.pokeylafarge.net.

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Pokey La Farge is best described as a musical archivist in every sense of the term. He and his band were described by one source as "artfully dodgy ambassadors for old-time music, presenting and representing the glories of hot swing, early jazz and ragtime blues" who have "made riverboat chic cool again," and indeed, they live up to that description. They recreate the kind of aural imagery that takes their listeners back in time to an earlier era of decades past when »»»
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A good many musical artists are looking for a hot new trend to champion, but Pokey LaFarge's only interest from the beginning of his career has been to bring a fresh perspective to folk, blues and soul with a swingy, jazzy, poppy undercurrent. Over the past decade and a half, LaFarge's sound and the band that helps him create it has evolved at a pace that reinforces the childhood nickname that he has adopted as his stage persona. That shouldn't be construed as a criticism; LaFarge »»»
Something in the Water CD review - Something in the Water
Whether Pokey LaFarge's seventh album, "Something in the Water," could be called more than "retro" is a stretch. The St. Louis musician's 21st century talent shows through his performance, compositions and writing, but some things work against him in his fight to make the album timeless. LaFarge covers a handful of genres that make him seem unsettled rather than well-rounded - like he can't pick just one. Jazzy numbers like "Underground" and »»»