The music of Pokey LaFarge harks back to an era long gone, when the world seemed like a simpler place. Before technology took over and communication improved, yet somehow diminished in standards, the world sounded a little like Mr LaFarge’s music – even before even Elvis and rock ‘n’ roll took the world by storm. The roots of this kind of music can be traced back almost 100 years, in fact. But the 1930s are not just replicated here – there is also something new, be it LaFarge’s energy or his song-writing informed by the modern world as well as those bygone days. It’s not hard to see why Jack White has been a champion of his music.
Something In The Water is a record of little pretence. It’s lively, jaunty and high-spirited American roots music. That means early jazz, ragtime, country blues and more. Yes, it’s out of time with 2015, and perhaps that is exactly what LaFarge offers and why he has a chance of being so successful in this day and age. The key however might lie in just how good this is. It’s a cracking record with wonderful energy, and perhaps moves him above the plateau he had previously reached through his past six albums.
LaFarge evidently dearly loves everything about the age. He is one of those characters trapped in the wrong time, but adapting to it, and still able to spin a tale from long ago into a likeable and danceable three-minute tune. It’s unashamed and therefore pretty believable, genuine, in fact. The clothes, the hair, the whole style is perfectly in line with the music. Pokey is the whole package, and this is an album to find your way beautifully back in time with, whether out of simple curiosity or a deeper pining for a long lost age. How lost in time can it be though, if it’s recreated quite so well?