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Pokey LaFarge

NPR Music Tiny Desk Session

Pokey LaFarge is one of the greatest folk revivalists around. His full voice and great demeanor pour out of his work like headlines from a newsboy.

Not only him, but his accompanying players each bring their own sense of subtle charm steeped in old-time two-stepping. LaFarge will make you want to trot on a wrap-around porch and sip lemonade in a rocking chair in the same song. His music both riles the soul and calms any worries.

His songs feature everything from a white hot harmonica to a clicking washboard to melodious vocal numbers. LaFarge’s songs are almost a monologue with himself with his frequent call and answer style with his effortless natural singing voice.

LaFarge’s main influence is Muddy Waters, which you can hear in his similar sort of talk-singing monologue–although LaFarge put his own spin on it and increased the tempo. He says he listened to Muddy Waters when he was 13 years old, which greatly impacted his view of music and expression.

LaFarge is trying to both revive and redefine a Century-old style of music, and he’s on track to do both. Much in the way Dylan rode the wave of folk’s revival, LaFarge is on board the same waves and splashing around to make his own.