502 North New Jersey St
Indianapolis, IN, 46204
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM
This event is all ages
Watch & Listen
"It's not retro music, it's American music that never died."
Of the many roots musicians traveling the world and spreading the early American music tradition, Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three are the next in line to make a significant impact on music enthusiasts everywhere. From St. Louis, Missouri, their creative mix of early jazz, string ragtime, country blues and western swing rings true and fine, making them among the most innovative of all the purists performing American roots music today. It's wonderfully infectious, and all laid down in front of a big, big swingin' beat. A lot of performers are content to play old material, reworking the tunes to give them new life or to stamp them with personal style. But this group, led by guitar-plucking troubadour Pokey LaFarge, achieves timelessness with original songs while honoring the legendary artists of yesterday through covered tunes. Accompanied by The South City Three, Pokey uses his booming voice as an instrument with an incredible range; one moment he shouts a line and the next he croons above his parlor guitar. Pokey's extraordinary blend of raw talent and refined, idiosyncratic charm turns reviewers into poets as they attempt to label his one-of-a-kind sound.
Born in the heartland of America, Pokey has been hitching through the countryside and whisking off to faraway lands ever since he was a teenager. He is a perpetual traveler, constantly in motion while drawing musical inspiration from the heroes and misfits of yesterday, the long lost troubadours of country, the kings of swamp-drenched ragtime and all the legendary bluesmen of the Cotton Kingdom. Sharing that inspiration has been a mission of sorts for Pokey, making sure that people remember there's more to music than just the sounds that manufactured pop stars are making today. Pokey is out to help listeners and live audiences rediscover an earlier time in America by bringing forth his special mix of music, featuring such acoustic instruments as the parlor guitar, guitjo, double bass, kazoo and harmonica. His sounds are truly original and modern, yet Pokey's influences are apparent, as tinges of Blind Boy Fuller, Bob Wills and Jimmie Rodgers are easily recognizable.
Pokey has swiftly gained a large legion of fans ever since he self-released his debut album Marmalade back in 2007. Shortly after the album came out, he landed a main-stage slot at top annual roots music bash Pickathon in Portland, Oregon, where he was widely regarded as one of the standout acts of the event. In 2008, Pokey released his follow-up solo album, Beat, Move & Shake, with St. Louis-based label Big Muddy Records.
To cap off his successful year, Pokey LaFarge rang in 2012 while appearing alongside such musical forces as Cyndi Lauper, James Morrison and Aloe Blaac on the annual BBC Two New Year's Eve special Hootenanny, hosted by legendary U.K. musician and television personality Jools Holland. With another European tour in the works this Spring, and plans for a North American tour of music festivals this Summer and Fall, 2012 is sure to be another huge year for the group. Look for Pokey and his crew to continue their rise as premier tradition-bearers, musicians, songwriters and entertainers.
It didn't take long before their signature treatment of classic folk songs became the preferred versions of Cincinnati locals. Their audiences swelled, growing into an assortment of grey-haired mechanics, neo-hippies, farmers, punkers, professors, and random strays all stomping, clapping, singing, and belting outbursts of "John Henry!" "Darlin' Corey!" Ever since, the band has come to each show with the same energy. They are magnetic showmen, mature musicians, and colorful storytellers.
The Tillers have since won over Cincinnati's bar and festival scene, and launching tours with tireless momentum. They were awarded CityBeat Magazine's Cincinnati Entertainment Award for best Folk and Americana act in 2009. Their relentless gigging has taken them throughout the east coast, the Midwest, and the Appalachian south. In the summer of 2009, veteran NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw featured the Tillers on a documentary about US Route 50. Brokaw showcased the group's song "There is Road (Route 50)" as a testimony to the highway's role as a connective tissue of the nation.
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