Pokey Lafarge and The South City Three come a long way from St Louis to start their latest UK Tour on June 14, bringing with him not only his full repertoire of Ragtime, Barrel House, Hokum and Cat House Country, but introducing the best possible frame work for his work The South City Three, if ever there were four young men borned out of their time its these hep cats and finger poppin daddies, steeped in the tradition of the old southern troubadour misfits and juke joint jazzers. Pokey and the crew bring to life the old with the news, into a heady mix of good time, big time, rag time riches.
Ask the questions, that may throw some light on this phenomenon, while you listen to the tunes.
I was born and raised in the great state of Illinois. Like to think I got most of my learning from the folks there. But I came to be a man on the road. I started travelling at 17
2. WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST MUSICAL MEMORY?
The Bluegrass festivals I went to as a kid with my grandfather
3. WHAT WAS THE FIRST RECORD YOU OWNED?
Muddy Waters ‘Folksinger’. Age 13
4. WHEN AND WHERE WAS YOUR FIRST PERFORMANCE?
Streets of Eugene, Oregon. Busking 2001. 18 years old
5. WHO IS THE SINGLE BIGGEST MUSICAL INFLUENCE ON YOUR WORK?
Tough to say if it has to be a musical person that is most influential on my music. My family is very important to everything I do musical or otherwise. My grandfather bought my first guitar and gave me my first banjo-his old 1900 Vega. Specifically musical: Bill Monroe, Jimmie Rodgers, Milton Brown, Emmett Miller and my girlfriend Mae.
6. WHAT IS THE MOST MEMORABLE CONCERT YOU'VE ATTENDED?
Bob Dylan playing with Brian Setzer Orchestra at 15yrs old would be my favorite from when I was a kid. He had just done ‘Time out of Mind’. A truly great album. My most recent would be from a great local St. Louis Band called Colonel Ford. They play the hell out of honky tonk, country and western swing.
7. WHAT IS THE MOST MEMORABLE CONCERT YOU'VE PLAYED?
Newport Folk Festival in Newport, Rhode Island, U.S.A or our set opening for Tim O’Brien’s band Hot Rize at the Tonder Festival in Denmark
8. WHAT IS THE WORST JOB YOU'VE EVER HAD?
Any job where I wasn’t the boss
9. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS MEANT BY THE WORD ARTIST?
To have your own definition. For me it’s creating music that both entertains you and your audience and makes you both feel better or more empowered about one’s life. At the same time an artist should be able to create a likeable creative expression from anything.
10. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING AT THE MOMENT?
I’m currently reading two. A biography on the great clarinettist Sidney Bechet and the biography on Milton Brown, the father of western swing.
11. IS THE MUSIC INDUSTRY BETTER NOW OR WHEN YOU STARTED?
Better now that I’ve come in to my own. I understand it better now. Like life, it is what you make of it. I’ve always understood that no one gives you anything. You have to work for everything in this business. That’s good. I don’t want anything easy. A great woman once said ‘nothing good is easy’.
If I had to say I’d say perhaps ‘Ain’t the Same’ or ‘Coffee Pot Blues’. They were the most natural.
13. WHAT IS THE FAVOURITE SONG SOMEONE ELSE HAS WRITTEN (AT THE MOMENT) ?
Wayne Hancock’s ‘Throwin Away my Money’ or Hackensaw Boys ‘Do You Care’, written by Ferd Moyse
14. WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT MODERN LIFE?
15. WHAT'S THE WORST?
Not enough discipline
16. WHAT SINGLE THING HAS HELPED YOU MOST IN YOUR CAREER?
Good musicians backing me up
17. WHAT SINGLE THING HAS HINDERED YOUR CAREER?
18. WHERE DID YOU AND THE BAND MEET?
Asheville, North Carolina
19. WHO'S YOUR FAVOURITE POLITICIAN?
Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt
20. WHAT WOULD BE THE BEST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN IN 2011?.
Tour Dates – UK /Ireland
Tues June 14: Devizes Street festival, Wiltshire
Wed 15: The Green Note, Camden, London
Thurs 16: Theatre Mwldan, Cardigan, Wales
Fri 17: Borough Theatre, Abergavenny, Wales
Sat 18 : Parson’s Green Sports & Social Club, London
Sun 19: The Prince Albert, Brighton
Mon 20: Number 5, The Beach, Clevedon
Tues 21: Greystones, Greystones Road, Sheffield
Wed 22: The Musician, Leicester
Thurs 23: The Blue Coconut Club, Pulborough
Fri 24: Birnam Arts Centre, Perthshire
Sat 25: The Classic Grand, Glasgow
Sun 26: The Blue Lamp, Aberdeen
Mon 27: The Tolbooth, Stirling
Tues 28: Eden Court Theatre, Inverness
Wed 29: Aros Centre, Isle of Skye
Thurs 30: An Lanntair, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis
Fri July 1: The Byre Theatre, St Andrews
Sat 2: Eastgate Theatre, Peebles
Sun 3: Ubangi Stomp, Odessa Club, Dublin
Mon 4: Spectrum Centre, Shankill Road, Belfast
Tues 5: Private function, Co Tipperary
Wed 6: Cleere’s, Kilkenny
Thurs 7: Wexford Arts Centre, Wexford
Fri 8: Seamus Ennis Centre, Naul, Co Dublin
Sat 9: Earagail Arts Festival - Town Park - Letterkenny
Sun 10: McGrory's, Culdaff, Co Donegal
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