12 Songs, 34 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Oklahoma’s JD McPherson is obviously obsessed with vintage recordings, yet his sound isn’t overly retro. Blame it on good taste and memorable tunes. Sure, straight-up rockabilly worship emanates from the opening “North Side Gal,” which sounds like it was mixed at Sun Studio circa 1956. And the piano-pounding, sax-blasting closer “Scandalous” would make perfect sense piping from the speakers of an old low-riding Chevy Impala (dig that vintage tube-amp guitar distortion). But McPherson deviates from total malt-shop kitsch with the slow-burning title track, which boasts proto-shoegazing guitar effects that have more in common with Johnny Marr than Johnny B. Goode. With its lush string arrangements and smoldering tempos, the dark and moody “A Gentle Awakening” would sit well on a David Lynch soundtrack or alongside Lana Del Rey’s “Video Games” on a mix for that special someone. Still, standout cuts like “Dimes for Nickels” (as well as the anachronistic album cover photo) reveal a man who feels more comfortable living in a world built from past artifacts.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Oklahoma’s JD McPherson is obviously obsessed with vintage recordings, yet his sound isn’t overly retro. Blame it on good taste and memorable tunes. Sure, straight-up rockabilly worship emanates from the opening “North Side Gal,” which sounds like it was mixed at Sun Studio circa 1956. And the piano-pounding, sax-blasting closer “Scandalous” would make perfect sense piping from the speakers of an old low-riding Chevy Impala (dig that vintage tube-amp guitar distortion). But McPherson deviates from total malt-shop kitsch with the slow-burning title track, which boasts proto-shoegazing guitar effects that have more in common with Johnny Marr than Johnny B. Goode. With its lush string arrangements and smoldering tempos, the dark and moody “A Gentle Awakening” would sit well on a David Lynch soundtrack or alongside Lana Del Rey’s “Video Games” on a mix for that special someone. Still, standout cuts like “Dimes for Nickels” (as well as the anachronistic album cover photo) reveal a man who feels more comfortable living in a world built from past artifacts.

TITLE TIME
2:31
2:44
2:17
4:45
2:56
2:10
3:26
2:43
2:58
2:36
3:00
2:28

About JD McPherson

Singer/songwriter JD McPherson makes vintage-sounding rock with nods to '40s R&B, blues, and '50s rock & roll. A native of Oklahoma, he grew up listening to a wide array of music from traditional country and rockabilly to punk and hip-hop. Although music was always an interest, McPherson first worked on his family's cattle ranch and later earned a Master's degree in open media from Tulsa University, eventually teaching and receiving attention for his video art installations. It was while performing with the Tulsa-based roots ensemble the Starkweather Boys that his classic style caught the ear of Chicago retro-rock impresario Jimmy Sutton. He backed Sutton for a few shows and formulated an idea for his own solo project.

In 2010, he released his solo debut, the Sutton-produced Signs & Signifiers (featuring the single "North Side Gal"), on Hi-Style Records. The video for the "North Side Gal" went viral and, along with a heavy touring schedule, helped build McPherson's fan base. Two years later, Signs & Signifiers was re-released to a wider audience on Rounder Records and ultimately reached number 47 on the Billboard Rock Albums chart. That same year, McPherson was invited to join acclaimed British singer/songwriter Nick Lowe on a leg of his West Coast tour.

McPherson then whet fan appetites with a 2014 covers EP before returning in 2015 with his sophomore full-length album, the Mark Neil-produced Let the Good Times Roll. Included on the album was the single "Bossy," as well as the track "Bridgebuilder," co-written with the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach. Well received, the album landed at number 17 on Billboard's Top Rock Albums chart.

In 2017, McPherson returned with his third full-length album, Undivided Heart & Soul. Recorded in Nashville's historic RCA Studio B with Lucius-drummer Dan Molad producing, the album found McPherson exploring a fuzztone, '60s-style R&B. Featured on the album are collaborations with Butch Walker, Parker Millsap, and Aaron Lee Tasjan. Also featured are guest spots from Lucius singers Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, Nicole Atkins, and the Raconteurs guitarist Jack Lawrence. Included on the album are the singles "Crying's Just a Thing That You Do" and "Lucky Penny." ~ Matt Collar

  • ORIGIN
    Buffalo Valley, OK
  • GENRE
    Rock
  • BORN
    April 14, 1977

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