Oklahoma native JD McPherson and fellow American music torchbearer Pokey LaFarge have teamed up to record Bob Wills’ classic “Good Old Oklahoma,” which will be released digitally today. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the single will be donated to Oklahoma City Community Fund’s Tornado Relief endowment. McPherson says, “This charity does the best work possible by contributing to dozens of local Oklahoma charities directly related to tornado damage relief: rebuilding, clean up, food and water disbursement, pet recovery… you name it. This fund applies to possible future tornadoes, as well as what we’re dealing with now.” McPherson explains how the recording came about: “Pokey and I had been speaking in the days following the May 19th tornadoes about the possibility of recording a benefit song. He came up with the brilliant idea to record Bob Wills’ ‘Good Old Oklahoma’ as a duet. Pokey is from Missouri, but each time he plays in my home state, his band performs that tune and brings the house down. It was a perfect fit.” LaFarge and his band were slated to record a Daytrotter session a few days after the tornado devastated the region, and made the impromptu decision to record the track during the session. McPherson said “I don’t consider myself to be versatile enough a singer to hold a candle to Tommy Duncan’s original vocal, but Pokey’s sublime, informed performance on the second verse and harmony make the track for me. Though I’m not built (unfortunately) to sing Oklahoma Jazz, I hope that what comes through the speakers is an audible love letter to my beloved home state.” The single is available for purchase from www.jdmcpherson.com and www.pokeylafarge.net.
“Good Old Oklahoma” by JD McPherson & Pokey LaFarge
PREVIOUSLY: I have seen the future of the past, and his name is J.D. McPherson, a thirtysomething cuffed-denim Okie with lacquered hair, iron lungs and, goodness gracious, great balls of fire. McPherson and his gifted retro-rock posse recently released Signs & Signifiers, a bracing collection of tailfin rockabilly, rawboned R&B and sultry moonstruck balladeering. It is hands-down the feel-good record of the year. MORE
PREVIOUSLY: Sign & Signifiers was hands down 2012?s PARTY ALBUM OF THE YEAR. Enjoy this Q&A we did with Mr. McPherson last summer. We talked about the usual rockabilly guy stuff: pomade, semiotics, Larry Clark’s Tulsa,, early 60s ska, Greg Ginn, Esquerita vs. Little Richard, the sexiest Buzzcocks album, the majesty of Robert Plant & Alison Krauss’ Raising Sand, how a white man from 2012 can sing like a black man from 1957 and what is the greatest baby-making music ever made. MORE