That’s Music To My Ears: Pokey LaFarge
Ladies, do I have a treat for you! A few weeks ago I decided I was seriously lacking in my vintage/retro musical knowledge. You see, even though I love the vintage aesthetic when it comes to clothing, I am decidedly modern in my musical tastes. As a matter of fact, here at Chez Glamour we often have dance parties and we listen to a lot of rap, club music, and pop. Our current favorite is Macklemore. But there are certain times, like on Friday afternoons when I pour myself a cocktail and sit on the front porch, that I like to listen to what I call “lounge” music- like Pink Martini or Astrud Gilberto. However my repertoire of this type of music is very shallow and I really want to learn more.
So I put out a notice on my Facebook and Twitter, asking if anyone of my dear readers might want to teach both myself and my viewers about vintage and “new vintage” music. I was thrilled when Jill of Adeline’s Attic Vintage and Tea With The Vintage Baroness responded and she said she loves music, both old and new and would love to write a few posts on the subject. So without further ado, here is Jill’s first post on music:
For this first installment, I would like to shine a spotlight on Pokey LaFarge, an American gentleman whose charm, vintage-inspired style, and musical talent I have been crushing on since first being introduced to his and band’s music through the blogosphere back in 2011.
Born in Bloomington, Ilinois and now based in St. Louis, Missouri, Mr. LaFarge has already compiled an impressive roster of accomplishments. As noted on his website, www.pokeylafarge.net, “Pokey LaFarge is a musician, songwriter, bandleader, entertainer, innovator and preservationist, whose well-rounded arsenal of talents has placed him at the forefront of American music.”
I think the site aptly describes my own sense of LaFarge’s musical style as sort of “a creative mix of early jazz, string ragtime, country blues and western swing.” Though his lyrics, melodies, and style of singing and playing are in some ways all his own, Pokey nods lovingly (and sometimes playfully) back to older American songs and musical traditions, even as he “transcends the confines of genre.” In this way, he is both a tradition “bearer” and an innovator who is “cleverly striding between numerous forms of traditional American music” and “craft[ing] a genre all his own, marked in its accessible ingenuity.” In Pokey’s own words, “It’s not retro music. It’s American music that never died.”
Pokey LaFarge’s vintage-inspired fashion style seems to match his music: he integrates vintage pieces into looks that are at once all his own and respectful and sometimes slightly cheeky odes to menswear styles of the 20s, 30s, and 40s.
LaFarge and his band, the South City Three, (with the addition of a clarinetist and a coronet player) are currently touring the US (http://www.pokeylafarge.net/tour/), and a new album, Pokey LaFarge, is set for release this month!
Thank you Jill for your perfect introduction to Pokey LaFarge. I have never heard of him before and I am now a fan! So how many of you have heard of Pokey before? Do you like his music? I am utterly thrilled with this new music series and I can’t wait to see what Jill has in store for us next!