Old-timey singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Pokey LaFarge is celebrating the release of his seventh album Something in the Water with a show at Mercy Lounge tonight, April 22, featuring country act Margo and the Pricetags, the new home of Buffalo Clover singer Margo Price, and vintage crooner Rachael Davis. LaFarge has dedicated his career to keeping a wide swath of American traditional music alive, from jazz to country to the blues, interested in the timeless aspects of those styles rather than adopting labels like vintage or throwback. All the artists on this bill have a similar dedication to the musical traditions they’re influenced by. If you’re feeling sick of modern times and want to hear talented musicians play instruments rather than computers, come and maybe even leave your iPhone in the car.
Pokey LaFarge is carrying on musical traditions that have been in America’s bloodstream for over a century, but don’t call him “retro.” He isn’t capitalizing on a fad and his blending of genres from swing to ragtime to country western and blues has created his own unique sound. And many have caught on. He’s built a loyal fan base from his rollicking live shows and dedication to these musical styles that many might have thought were a thing of the past. Longtime fan Jack White added LaFarge to Third Man’s roster, with LaFarge cutting two records on the label as well as playing on White’s debut solo record Blunderbuss. The proud Midwestern is based in St. Louis and cut the new album in Chicago. Check out the adorable video for the single “Something in the Water” below.
MARGO AND THE PRICETAGS
Margo Price has earned raves for her authentic country music and a voice that sounds like the great female country singers of days gone by, garnering comparisons to Tammy, Loretta, and Patsy. She’s led the local psych rock outfit Buffalo Clover and is now with her old-fashioned country solo project The Pricetags. Price’s sound isn’t all honky-tonk country, though, taking influence from alternative rock from Neil Young to Jack White as well. I’ll personally never forget hearing her sing Tammy Wynette’s “Stand By Your Man” at one the 5 Spot’s Country and Western nights. Took awhile to get my jaw off the floor.
Rachael Davis sings old-timey jazz similar to LaFarge, and refers to her style of acoustic music as “motown-banjo.” Davis blends traditional jazz, blues, swing, and folk music with the various stringed instruments she plays to create her own unique take on those old styles. Having been widely praised for both her voice and her songwriting, this is an opener you won’t want to miss.
Pokey LaFarge, Margo and the Pricetags, and Rachael Davis will perform Wednesday, April 22 at Mercy Lounge. The show is 18+, begins at at 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.), and tickets are available for $15.