Pokey Lafarge has produced a mature, beautifully written and recorded album to propel him into 'stardom'. Now on Jack White's Third Man Records and co-produced by the talented Ketch Secor, Pokey's new CD employs the talents of his usual South City Three, plus a slew of other musicians to produce a more rounded offer. The singing is top class - a step up - the material is a marked improvement over Middle of Everywhere, and the overall feeling is of a top 'new' talent presenting himself to the best effect.
In live performances, he has added a female clarinettist and a male trumpeter, and this has given these live shows a lift. He no longer has to don the kazoo - and all that implied about his rough and ready approach. This album will sound 'the business' live - he has succeeded largely because of relentless touring and great live performances. He will achieve a bigger audience without changing his essential authenticity.
Standout tracks are Central Time, Won'tcha Please Don't Do It, Bowlegged Woman and Day After Day. All are very listenable to, and others may add to my list of favourites.
Congratulations to all involved - this is a far cry from the Pokey I first came across singing La La Blues. But it's still the same guy, with the same authentic American sound. Pokey, this is a wonderful effort.