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Pokey Lafarge - Manic Revelations - LP -

Price per Unit (stuk): €29.95

It’s genuinely hard not to like Pokey LaFarge. A US roots musician with a remarkable voice, he first came to prominence with his band the ‘South City Three’ a few years ago, almost single-handedly stealing the show at Denmark’s wonderful roots festival at Tonder. Now with around seven albums behind him, and the band featuring a few more members including Sax and horns, and now known as the Southside Collective, he seems to have grown in both stature and confidence.

‘Manic Revelations’ is an album that differs to some extent from his previous and generally enjoyably reliable style and over-the-shoulder-look back to the roaring thirties and the speakeasy sort of musical traditions, where ragtime rhythms prevailed and powerhouse vocal delivery was needed to swamp and overcome the barrel-house noise of sprawling, brawling US bar-rooms and clubs.

This release features a more relaxed style of delivery, softer in touch and tone than usual, and with some delightful light jazzy chording and influence in the mix. The songs are self-penned and illustrate the new confidence that LaFarge has developed in recent years. The blues roots of the music, however, remain evident and powerful throughout while the lyrics hint at struggles with internal demons and personal difficulties that are all too often overlooked or simply ignored and hidden out of reach and out of sight. The current problems of racial and economic tensions in the US also get an airing here. The original South City Three band members remain anchors here with years of fruitful work together firmly fermenting the musical gumbo that make up this typically enjoyable Lafarge outing.

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