Don’t call JD McPherson “retro.” Though the Oklahoma native rocks a mean 50’s styled rhythm & blues, on his official label debut (out next Tuesday on Rounder Records), he’s as likely to pull influences from The Smiths and Wu-Tang Clan as from Chuck Berry and Little Richard. Recorded completely on 1/4″ tape and analog equipment, Signs & Signifiers still holds modern touches heard in little ways, like the reverberating Johnny Marr-inspired guitar on the title track. Mainly, though, you’ll be blown away by McPherson’s spirited take on the roots of rock and roll. With producer, bassist, and all around musical partner, Jimmy Sutton, JD McPherson rips through originals-that-could-be-classics, like “Dimes for Nickels,” “Wolf Teeth” and “Fire Bug.” And, if you’ve listened to the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole for any period of time, you know how insanely catchy “North Side Gal” can be. Since he’s never yet been up to Seattle for a show, we were thrilled to feature JD McPherson live during our SXSW broadcast from Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop in Austin. Joining McPherson and Sutton for their fiery performance were Tony “The Kid” Kidonakis on piano and sax, Jonathan Doyle on tenor sax, and Jason Smay on drums. Watch the videos here and see why JD McPherson was one of only two bands, out of the 15 we broadcast, whose audience demanded an encore.
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