Ninebullets: Essential Listening http://ninebullets.net/archives/pokey-lafarge-the-south-city-three-middle-of-everywhere
I’ve been fortunate to see Pokey and the band play several times in some of Mississippi’s finest barrooms and a few things always happen. People stare, then they high five their friends, people drink and they smile. But there’s one night when Pokey and the South City Three played that’ll be hard for me to forget. The band was on stage in my favorite bar and it was closing down in a few weeks. I was about to leave town so I decided my last night in there would be with Pokey behind the mike. A little blond girl I knew was behind the bar and an old friend who’d moved away was back for a visit. My friend was drinking Wild Turkey and Sprite and so I decided to follow suit. There’s a song on Middle Of Everywhere about this kind of evening. It’s called “Drinkin’ Whiskey Tonight” and you should hit play on the little button below and give it a spin while you read about what I decided to do with the rest of my Wild Turkey evening.
Throughout the album The South City Three perform stellar duties. Hoskins’ guitar embellishes Pokey’s playing perfectly while Joey Glynn’s upright bass adds a fine natural depth. His skirmishes with Ryan Koenig’s washboard on several songs are a treat while Koenig’s harmonica is always tasty. Over all this Pokey sings with confidence, at times crooning, other times hollering yet hardly ever breaking sweat he is in command throughout, oozing charisma and style.
This album kicks off with its first single, “So Long Honeybee, Goodbye,” a sweet song that sets the tone for this album and sets it apart from 2009′s Riverboat Soul. While that album was a mixture of folk anthems, old standards reinterpreted and a smattering of love songs, this album finds its home among the love song. “Head to Toe,” “Mississippi Girl” and “Feels So Good” are all strong examples of Pokey’s love song writing chops. But in addition, the boys treat us to songs like “River Rock Bottom” and “Drinkin’ Whiskey Tonight,” both of which feel as though they would have been comfortable on either Riverboat Soul or Middle of Everywhere.
Pokey LaFarge revives the 20s and 30s with his blend of blues, ragtime, western swing and Appalachia country music. The 27-year old St. Louis troubador’s Middle of Everywhere is his latest release. The vinyl version of the album contains two bonus tracks that were recorded at Jack White’s Third Man Records studio.
Once Again Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three bring fun and style to music with their latest release Middle of Everywhere. Named for their hometown St.Louis’ relativity to the rest of the country, and their place in the world touring all over, Middle of Everywhere is a superb release through and through. The attention getting schtick and pagentry are missing from the album, unlike Riverboat Soul. RS just grabbed and pulled you right in with legendary tales of ‘Claude Jones’ and Jim Jones in ‘In the Graveyard Now’, RS also forced you to take notice with such crowd pleasing period pieces as ‘Hard Times Come and Go’. Instead Middle of Everwhere, brings forth 13 tracks that don’t require a period or being called “old timey’. These are just 13 pleasing songs of love, relationships failed and girls, that can be listened to over and over.