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L.A. Beat

Pokey LaFarge jokes and plays lots of new roots and blues music for Geomatic Attic

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I missed The Geomatic Attic’s presentation of Dan Mangan at the Yates Theatre last week, so made a point of making it to Los Angeles based, Chicago reared, St. Louis born musician Pokey Lafarge, who was at the Geomatic Attic, Sunday, Feb. 24, hot off a  successful weekend playing  the Block Heater Festival in Calgary.Pokey LaFarge at the Geomatic Attic, Sunday, Feb. 24. photo by Richard Amery
 Lafarge didn’t play a lot from his latest, horn heavy CD  “Manic Revelations,” except for a stripped down version of “Better Man Than me,” but showed an impressive range of influences   including folk, blues, string band, gospel and a lot of jazz, which he plucked on a battered old 1930s style acoustic guitar.

 He noted the best question he has ever been asked was what his influences are and took pride in his answer of “ I don’t know.”

 It was one of several off the cuff remarks he made while tuning a stubborn acoustic guitar no double affected by winter.  He laughed about how he looked like ET with long arms and then joked more about Alberta winter.

 He noted he has a new CD coming out next year, which he recorded in Chicago and noted how excited he was about the band he put together for it and touring with them.

 He channelled the spirit of old blues shouters like Leadbelly and touches of Robert Johnson,  and had similar voice and mannerisms similar to Canadian talent like Petunia and Blue Moon Marquee. He also brayed out an impressive falsetto, which he tried to get the audience to sing along with.

 Because he has a a new CD coming out he was excited to play a lot of the new songs as well as several from his “Something in The Water CD” including the title track, which came right out of the gate.
He talked about recording in the middle of a fierce “polar vortex” Chicago winter, so perhaps  not coincidentally, a lot of his songs seemed to be about storms, snow and plenty about heartbreak and loneliness.
And early highlight was “End Of my Rope.”

 I also enjoyed a newer song “Even Bums Get Lucky”
 A couple of earlier songs were highlights near the end of the set including pumped up gospel blues of “ The Devil Ain’t Lazy” and “Central Time,” with which he ended his set before being called back for an encore.

The encore consisted of a trio of slower, more jazzy number, ending with a optimistic “I’m So Happy.”

Ryland Moranz, who just returned from touring the United Kingdom with Leeroy Stagger, rushed to Lethbridge from a gig in Edson to open the show with a quick set of impassioned folk and roots music.
 Moranz played a couple uptempo originals on guitar and banjo, getting the  crowd to clap along ever faster as he set his fingers afire on the banjo with some quick picked licks.

— by Richard Amery, L.a. beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 06 March 2019 10:06 )  
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