Pokey LaFarge & the South City Three – Riverboat Soul (2010)
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They play a wonderfully fresh and quirky kind of roots music that combines a riverboat ragtime sound with Delta-meets-Appalachia songwriting, all laid down in front of a big, big swingin beat. LaFarge is a neo-hobo, constantly travelling and continually inspired by early American roots music. But while Pokey LaFarge and his crew may summon up the likes of Blind Blake, Dan Hicks, or Leon Redbone, and their music may be a fitting soundtrack to R. Crumb s comics, don t call it old-timey ! Pokey and the South City Three s unique sound is certainly eclectic, rough around the edges and often a throwback to past times, featuring parlour guitar, guitjo (a guitar-tuned six-string banjo) kazoo and harmonica, but they give it all a modern twist – they call it Riverboat Soul . This is their 3rd album. “Lawd knows we need people like Pokey LaFarge. Coming on like a bastard son of Woody Guthrie and Blind Blake, this is the kind of stuff Ry Cooder s been trying to do for decades: no-holds-barred, honest-to-goodness sheet-kicking music of the highest order.