Pokey LaFarge tries to make sense of trouble he’s seen and trouble he’s been in. This is the Great Why of his unending passion for songwriting. Each chord, each riff shades the stories he sets up in his lyrics, always in search of the purest truth within the 10 forlorn, haunting melodies on Manic Revelations. A musician, a storyteller, a narrator of the messy, unkempt American experience…Pokey LaFarge sits, he watches, he writes. Everything that’s worth happening happens in his songs.
From the broad social narrative of “Riot In The Streets” to the internal tension of “Must Be A Reason” and “Bad Dreams” to the profound alienation of “Silent Movie,” these Manic Revelations are questions, they are answers, they are an epoch for Pokey LaFarge.
Recorded in LaFarge’s hometown of St. Louis, Manic Revelations features 10 new original songs and was produced by the Southside Collective—LaFarge, Joey Glynn (bass), Ryan Koenig (harmonica, guitjo, electric guitar), Adam Hoskins (electric guitar), Matt Meyer (drums, percussion), Luc Klein (trumpet, euphonium, piano, glockenspiel), Alec Spiegelman (saxophone, piano, tuba, organ, clarinet, flute), David Beeman (tambourine, stylophone, guitar, organ)—along with additional production by Tony Hoffer.
A teenager’s summer job is as American as apple pie or baseball. For Jackson, MS native Owen Beverly, this meant playing blues guitar with guys thirty years his senior as opposed to mowing lawns or washing dishes. His formative years were spent in the sweaty juke joints of Mississippi, Louisiana, and the Florida panhandle playing for discerning crowds both large and small. A disciple of the Delta blues tradition and steeped in the musings of Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, and great songwriters like Townes Van Zandt, Beverly came away with a near-religious focus on song and craft.