Who do you imagine when you hear the name Pokey Lafarge? A sweet, hard-losing riverboat gambler? A bumbling, tipsy deputy sheriff in the mythical wild west? Tom Sawyer’s other good friend, walking barefoot with a fishing pole over his shoulder past picket fences? A banjo-pickin’ harmonica-playin’ good-time guy with a sweet smile and winsome singing voice? Pokey Lafarge and the South City Three spend their time channeling the sounds and feeling of old-time roots and juke joint devilry, complete with stand-up bass and Django Reinhardt influenced guitar, not to mention high-waisted pants and Brylcreemed hair (a lil’ dab’ll do ya).
Lafarge’s infectious non-stop mix of jazz, ragtime, country-blues and western swing channels the Americana of long ago, but as with the best of today’s roots musicians he pays homage through creating the music anew, mixing old-time standards with original twists on time-honoured styles. Lafarge (he comes by his name honestly, from his mama’s frustrations with his lollygagging ways as a child) is a traveler, through the world and through American musical history. Let him take you on a toe-tappin’ ride.