© 2024 Michigan State University Board of Trustees
Public Media from Michigan State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Old-Timey Tunes With One Pokey LaFarge

Pokey LaFarge seen during day two of Forecastle Music Festival at Waterfront Park on Saturday, July 16, 2016, in Louisville, Ky. (Amy Harris/AP)
Pokey LaFarge seen during day two of Forecastle Music Festival at Waterfront Park on Saturday, July 16, 2016, in Louisville, Ky. (Amy Harris/AP)

With guest host Jane Clayson.

We go to St. Louis to hear Pokey LaFarge and his band –from their manic retro best to their no-joke take on America’s streets today.

Pokey LaFarge and his band move up and down the history of modern American popular music like a trombone slide. And always with the pizazz of real showmen. One minute he’s a Depression-era crooner, the next he’s got the nickel-bright electric twang of a 1950s rock n’roll number. And the next, he’s writing a lament to the anger and fear of these current times. This hour On Point, the manic American sound of Pokey LaFarge.


Pokey LaFarge, bandleader, songwriter and singer. His new album is “Manic Revelations.” (@PokeyLaFarge)

From The Reading List

Billboard: Pokey LaFarge Balances Art & Personal Life on ‘Better Man Than Me’— “Manic Revelations comes out at a time when LaFarge’s profile is enjoying a bump thanks to CMT’s Sun Records series, in which he portrayed Hank Snow for six episodes. ‘I guess they just needed somebody who has a big forehead and big ears,’ LaFarge quips. His own ‘Wanna Be A Man’ was used for the show as well, and he’s happy with it as a lead-in to potentially more acting work.”

Rolling Stone: ‘American Epic’: Inside Jack White and Friends’ Obsessive Roots-Music Doc — “Among the artists gathered to perform vintage songs and some originals were Beck, Alabama Shakes, the Avett Brothers, Los Lobos, Pokey LaFarge, Steve Martin with Edie Brickell, and the Americans. The recordings re-create a crisp texture recognizable from records of the time, but without the crackling noises of a vintage 78.”

Consequence of Sound: Pokey LaFarge suggests taking in a “Silent Movie” with new single — “Open a newspaper and it’s ​​story after story about political unrest, social injustice, and brewing conflicts. Turn on the TV and all you get is a bunch of talking heads shouting over each other about all the problems you just read about. It’s enough to drive a person to hysterics, no matter on which side of the fence you sit. These days it feels like people are more worked up about the world than ever before, and while the drive to action is admirable, it’s also essential that we all remember to take the time to enjoy ourselves every now and then.”

Three Live Tracks From Today’s Broadcast

Array Array Array

Watch Video Of Pokey LaFarge Performances




Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Journalism at this station is made possible by donors who value local reporting. Donate today to keep stories like this one coming. It is thanks to your generosity that we can keep this content free and accessible for everyone. Thanks!