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Pokey LaFarge

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Biography

Fusing the sounds of the past with the energy of the present day, Americana singer/songwriter Pokey LaFarge makes old-time country-, blues-, folk-, and Western swing-influenced music. Born Andrew Heissler in Bloomington, Illinois in 1983, LaFarge developed an early interest in American literature and history, as well as roots music of the 20th century. By his teens, LaFarge was combining his passions into his own music, accompanying himself on guitar, mandolin, and banjo. After graduating high school, LaFarge adopted an itinerant lifestyle -- as well as the nickname Pokey -- and traveled around the United States, often performing on street corners. LaFarge also crossed paths with a handful of like-minded musicians and he was soon touring with his own combo, the South City Three, featuring Adam Hoskins on guitar, Joey Glynn on standup bass, and Ryan Koenig on harmonica, washboard, and percussion. In 2006, LaFarge released his self-produced debut album, Marmalade. Several independent releases followed before LaFarge caught the ear of Jack White, who invited LaFarge and the South City Three to accompany him on the song "I Guess I Should Go to Sleep" from White's 2012 album Blunderbuss. LaFarge and his band also opened several dates on White's tour in support of Blunderbuss, and in 2013 White signed LaFarge to his own Third Man Records label. In 2013, LaFarge released his eponymous Third Man debut album, and his band expanded to a sextet with the addition of Chloe Feoranzo on clarinet and sax, T.J. Muller on trumpet, and Matthew Meyer on trap drums. In November 2014, LaFarge signed a new recording deal with the respected roots music label Rounder Records, and his first album for Rounder, Something in the Water (produced by Jimmy Sutton, best-known for his work with JD McPherson), appeared in April 2015. LaFarge switched directions for 2017's Manic Revelations, drawing inspiration from '60s soul music. ~ Matt Collar

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