American songwriter / musician / entertainer Pokey LaFarge has been releasing records for about 15 years, records with swing and blues-infused roots music that sounds like it came from before the rock ‘n’ roll era we love so much. On his seventh full-length studio solo album, In the Blossom of Their Shade, he has managed to keep the good of the past – the ten new tracks have been created with great care and an eye for quality -but it’s literally and figuratively a step forward, a bit more modern but also a bit more mature. We still hear jazz, folk and doo-wop influences, and somehow it reminds me a bit of Jonathan Richman too, but it fits surprisingly well in 2021. Actually, this LP should have been released three months ago, because this would have been a perfect soundtrack for the summer holidays. It showcases the positivity of coming out of the darkness and into the light (from Get It ‘Fore It’s Gone: “Don’t throw shade on my sunny day”). Only the tribute to the Netherlands’ coolest city (from Rotterdam: “Where I wanna be is not where you’d expect // They have a place for me down on Nieuwe Binnenweg”) and the beautiful closing time song Goodnight, Goodbye (Hope Not Forever ) make the purchase of this record worthwhile, but it contains more fine fine tunes.
In The Blossom of Their Shade is out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP through New West Records.