Bonnaroo Artist | JD McPherson
Bonnaroo History | Newbie
Stage & Time: | That Tent | Thursday | 6PM
On first listen, JD McPherson might sound like just another retro throwback artist, with an affinity for ’50s R&B and rockabilly. It’s true that McPherson does that very well- he’s got the authentic vocal style, arrangements, and old school recording aesthetics down to a science. Some of his songs might even fool you into thinking you’re listening to an old classic (albeit one with really, really clean and polished production). Once you dig a little deeper, however, it becomes very clear that McPherson is a thoroughly modern artist. Though his primary medium of choice is that vintage r&b sound, he manages to update and seamlessly infuse his music with influences as diverse as punk and hip hop. JD is an incredibly skilled artist and his meticulous attention to detail and deliberate arrangement and songwriting style speaks volumes to his technical skill and ability to fully realize a clearly confident and cohesive vision.
Hailing from rural Oklahoma, McPherson writes the bulk of his material with producer Jimmy Sutton. The singer-songwriter’s debut, Signs & Signifiers, dropped last spring and has been slowly helping JD creep into the public consciousness. McPherson is unabashedly set in delivering exactly the type of music he wants to make, and and is master of channelling a multitude of influences into what still plays as a very focused, cohesive release. A lot of “retro” artists can ring gimmicky, but JD McPherson just comes off sounding like he’s making the music he loves, in the only way he knows how. He’s also got one of the most unique voices in modern rock (and we use the term “modern” lightly, because it’s been a few decades since we’ve heard many people sing with the power, soul, and emotional earnestness in a style similar to JD). A lot of artists on the Bonnaroo lineup pay homage to the old, and blend it with the new, but perhaps none do it with so much skill as JD McPherson. Check him out this summer!
Listen | “North Side Gal”
Watch | “Fire Bug” (Official Music Video)