Pokey LaFarge

Today’s top 5 comes from Pokey LaFarge…

When Pokey teams up with his group, they’re known as Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three, and they play classic Americana-country-bluesy-souly-swing, with washboard percussion and a lyrical focus on drinking whisky. They’re ace.

Jack White (“THE” Jack White) has taken a shine to Pokey and the boys – he produced a 7″ for them on his own label Third Man Records – and word on the street is they may be playing with the man himself at some point in 2012.

Pokey’s put together the following tunes for your listening pleasure. So without further ado, here’s what Pokey has to say:

1 – Emmett Miller – Right or Wrong

One of my favorite 20′s/30′s singers. A singer with incredible range rumored to have influenced Jimmie Rodgers yodeling. Big influence of Tommy Duncan, singer of Bob Wills & the Texas Playboys. Not a lot of folks took him seriously in his day which is a shame because he’s a gem. Eddie Lang plays guitar on his sessions. He was from Macon, GA

2 – Jimmie Rodgers – Desert Blues

The ‘father of country music’. Recorded in the 20′s & 30′s. Very inspiring individual. Rose from rags to riches before dying of Tuberculosis at 36 but not before pioneering the genre known as country music. He’s proven fact that it’s a mistake to inflict color barriers on certain genres. Country music is a mixture of many styles black and white. Black people influenced him as well as he influenced black people and made perhaps the first interracial recordings in country music. Louis Armstrong, Clifford Gibson, Earl Macdonald and more played with him. He was from Meridian, MS

3 – Roy Newman & His Boys – I Can’t Dance (I Got Ants in My Pants)

One of the hottest of the ‘unknown’ bands. More of the ‘Swing’ side of Western Swing as opposed to the more countrified. Holly Horton, the clarinetist, is one of my all time favorites. From Texas.

4 – Jim Jackson – Wild About My Lovin’

A ‘songster’ who recorded in the 20′s & 30′s. Very versatile and original. You hear his voice and you know it’s him. One of the early kings of Beale st. and more. from Hernando, MS.

5 – Milton Brown & His Musical Brownies – Stay on the Right Side Sister

The ‘Father of Western Swing’. Compiled the 1st prototype of THE western swing band. Had he not been killed in ’36, who knows what he could have done….? He was from Fort Worth, Texas.

It turns out that only a couple of these are on YouTube, so press play below to hear those (then click the links at the bottom to try the missing ones) – or open the playlist in Spotify to hear the whole set straight through…

Here’s some links to listen to the tunes that aren’t on YouTube:

Emmett Miller – Right or Wrong

Roy Newman & His Boys – I Can’t Dance (I Got Ants in My Pants)

Milton Brown & His Musical Brownies – Stay on the Right Side Sister

Some real old-time numbers there eh? What do you reckon?

Now for dessert, here’s one from Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three – straight from Jools Holland’s New Year Hootenanny last week:



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