Review: Modern troubadour Pokey LaFarge excels on new album

This cover image released New Rounder Records shows "Manic Revelations," a release by Pokey LaFarge."

Music Review: Modern troubadour Pokey LaFarge has an old-time band, out-of-time sounds and themes both ageless and current on 'Manic Revelations'

Pokey LaFarge, "Manic Revelations" (Rounder Records)

Modern troubadour Pokey LaFarge has an old-time band, out-of-time sounds and themes both ageless and current on "Manic Revelations."

LaFarge's voice is high in the mix and it is as unaffected as it is clear. You won't have to rely much on the lyric sheet to understand his stories, which cover a lot of bases.

He is backed by the Southside Collective, a band whose many resources — including the tubax (a Paul Bunyanesque saxophone) and stylophone, a small keyboard that looks like an answering machine — is at the service of American sounds, from soul and swing to country blues.

The highly danceable beats of lead single "Riot in the Streets," LaFarge's take on the aftermath of the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in a suburb of his hometown of St. Louis, may distract a bit from the narrative but the singer's sincerity keeps the sentiments focused.

LaFarge is also sensitive, self-deprecating, romantic, idealistic and passionate.

"Better Man Than Me" concedes that sleeping all day and playing his "sad songs" all night won't help him get the girl of his dreams, or any girl at all, but the mood is only slightly melancholy. "Wellington" is about his mishaps in the capital of New Zealand, a city he'd like to escape forever but also, if needed, be buried in.

"Going to the Country" and "Bad Dreams" are about getting away just out of town or far across the world, while "Silent Movie" is plain reclusive — "stay inside your mind."

"Manic Revelations" is an album of honest sounds and attitudes and LaFarge is its candid interpreter.

Related News

Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah each land a Showtime series

Aug 11, 2016

Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah will each star in their own half-hour comedy series for Showtime

Bollywood's Shah Rukh Khan gets US apology for airport stop

Aug 12, 2016

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan tweeted that he gets detained at U.S. airports "every damn time" after he was stopped at the Los Angeles International Airport

Nate Parker accepts Sundance award, creates youth fellowship

Aug 12, 2016

The writer, director, producer and star of "The Birth of a Nation" says the Sundance Institute offered him encouragement and support when he needed it most, and now he hopes to pass that opportunity onto the next generation of filmmakers

Broaden News

Reporter Pass is the only access you need to get into Hollywood. No matter it’s the red carpet event or backstage access, we’ve got you covered.

Contact us: sales@reppass.com

Award ShowsCelebrityPaparazziRoyaltyMoviesMusicTelevision Programs Press Releases