The Hot Club of Cowtown has some of the same contemporary energy, but even with them the emphasis is more on jazz virtuosity. The closest comparison might be with Old Crow Medicine Show, with whose leader Ketch Secor LaFarge shares a bit of a swagger. (Secor produced Pokey's eponymously titled new album.) But LaFarge is much more rooted in joyous Midwestern blues and jazz than in Old Crow's drug- and alcohol-fueled country music. Relaxed and lively, he brings styles that almost automatically connote nostalgia into the modern world.
The Pokey LaFarge phenomenon has grown over most of a decade, and he recently signed with Jack White's Third Man label, a promising sign of things to come. Pokey LaFarge makes his Ark debut on Tuesday, July 30 (see Nightspots).
[Originally published in July, 2013.]