Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Seen and Heard: Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three

Last night I dragged a couple of friends to the basement of a DC BBQ joint. Wait, that sounds a little diabolical and maybe a tad Sweeney Todd-ish. But it was to see a guy named Pokey. Um, not helping. Maybe I should start over.

Last night, a couple of friends and I wandered over to Hill Country BBQ in the Penn Quarter, where they serve  beverages in mason jars and everyone’s fingers seem to be dripping in sauce, whether they are eating ribs or not.  In the basement, among long family style tables and a bar is a stage, where musical folk come to play. For many of the shows there is no cover, but you do have to wedge yourself in between tables of diners, barkeeps and wait staff.  In other words, it was the perfect setting to see Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three from St. Louis, MO.
Their music has been described as Riverboat Soul, and not just because that is the name of one of their albums. It is a mixture of ragtime jazz, Americana jug band, Western swing, and with just enough bluesy soul to have your heart on the verge of breaking. They cover some of the old timey classics, but with their own original music they resist the urge to be just a cover band.  Pokey, who never diverges his real name, leads the band on vocals, guitar, witty stage banter, snappy suits and kazoo.  A kazoo, oh my.  And it fit the song, without the gimmickiness that you would think. Ryan Koening melted our faces off with his mad harmonica washboard playing.  Joey Glynn on bass and Adam Hoskins on guitar rounded out the group.  And as a bonus, we learned about the St. Louis brick industry.

We only stayed for the first set making it home by 11pm, because we are old on Tuesdays nights. But oh this band made my week. I don’t think that I stopped smiling the entire night.

Way to make Missouri proud, fellas!

I know that I have posted a video of them before, but, I am feeling oh so generous at this moment, so here is another:

1 comment :

  1. Echoes on the kazoo sigh. I may have to figure out how to marry that boy!