Joup Friday Album: JD McPherson – Signs and Signifiers

JD McPherson - Signs and Signifiers

JD McPherson – Signs and Signifiers

I arrived back in Chicago to stay for a bit again nearly a year ago. On the of things I realized that I missed about my hometown so much (although I got my fill in Melbourne) was the music. My friend and music collaborator Jess (whom also recommended The Foals to me see link here) introduced me to Marisa whom is quite a wealth of music knowledge for her age. We talked and she said, “Joe, you know what you would really like a guy that we work with called JD McPherson. I’m gonna play you ‘North Side Girl’ and see what you think.” She dialed it up and it was an instant sale. I bought Signs and Signifiers the next day.

Simply said JD McPherson embodies what I consider Rock’n Roll Americana. He is definitely a throwback but with a twist, and that twist is his little nuances on his telecaster. He has some silly licks, sometimes polished and sometimes not but most certainly distinctive. Hailing from Tulsa, OK with a degree in visual arts his stories stems from a demo sent to Jimmy Sutton of Hi-Style records. Wait…Jimmy Sutton of Chicago’s The Mighty Blue King’s fame? Yup that Jimmy Sutton and he snatched up McPherson, produced Signs and Signifiers in 2010 (including playing bass!) and slapped him on his label. Throw in Alex Hall on drums and Josh Bell on saxophone and now we’re talking.

As aforementioned, “North Side Gal” is the first single and man is it a doozy.
“I got some money
And some wheels to drive
Old beat up guitars
And old sleazy dives
Every song I sing
It swings about a North Side Gal.”

Croons McPherson. It’s this sort of smart lyricism that holds throughout the album including on the down-tempo swan “A Gentle Awaking,” the buzz-saw “Firebug,” and the juke-jive “Your Love.”

Make no mistake McPherson (and Sutton and Hall for that matter) wear their influences on their sleeves and it shows. The album shines because of it’s adaptability to any generation. And live? Forget about it. That’s why I am going to see them tomorrow night at the Do Division street festival in Chicago. It will be the show of the weekend. I guarantee it.

Thanks Marisa…you crazy north side gal. ;)

As always listen, find and buy. Absolutely. Chester, are you next?

Joe Grez

Joe Grez

Joe Grzesik (JGrez) is still an artist developer trying to keep up with new technologies. Photography still has been one of his strongest passions. However, now his main focus has led him back to music where he teaches guitar, piano, saxophone and percussion privately. Music education can never be short changed.

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