With seven members total in its current formation, including a sax and trumpet player, the St. Louis-based band Pokey LaFarge is one of the larger groups we’ve hosted at our New York City studio. The group stopped by to perform a couple of tracks off of their latest record, Manic Revelations, which represents a departure from their more folksy songs that could’ve been straight out of the Dustbowl era to a more ‘50s, soul vibe.
The bandleader, who also goes by Pokey LaFarge, attributed this transition to the collaborative process of working together as a band and the influence of their diverse musical backgrounds.
“We have a sax player that’s schooled in traditional jazz, a trumpet player that’s more into modern jazz and some modern funk and soul stuff, a country musician, a punk rocker, an all around bass-player, and a drummer that grew up on The Four Seasons and The Beatles. We all made it together, and I think we’re pretty conscious of trying to allow everyone to breathe and have their input on the record,” he said.
“You get into a particular state of mind when you’re creating. Everything you do in your life is for a song, you’re always looking for it. They tell you to try to be in the moment, and you’re like ‘Yeah, but what’s going to get me to the inspiration.’ When you get the revelation, the song, that’s the reward.”
LaFarge described the amalgamation of influences they channeled on the first track they performed, “Good Luck Charm,” as “The Kinks meets Cajun meets South City St. Louis.”
They also performed a rousing rendition of their “travel-inspired” ode to living abroad in Spain, “Goodbye Barcelona” off of their previous record Something in the Water, and the new tune “Better Man.”
As for what exactly “manic revelations” are, according to LaFarge it’s a phrase that captures the creative process.
“It’s just a fancy word for songs, probably. You get into a particular state of mind when you’re creating. Everything you do in your life is for a song, you’re always looking for it. They tell you to try to be in the moment, and you’re like ‘Yeah, but what’s going to get me to the inspiration.’ When you get the revelation, the song, that’s the reward.”
Check out our review of Manic Revelations, and watch the full session below.