While it’s tempting to write Pokey LaFarge off as just another skinny hipster, hopelessly besotted with the past, there’s no denying he has the chops to pull this ambitious album off.
A charming cocktail of jazz, ragtime and blues, this debut on Rounder is so retro it’s almost futuristic. From the ever-present banjo to the Dixieland horn section, LaFarge leaves no musical stone unturned in his exploration of the pre-war era.
In lesser hands, the end result would undoubtedly have been a complete mess, or at the very least an out-and-out irony-fest, but happily LaFarge plays it straight throughout. His cover of the great old blues standard When Did You Leave Heaven is nothing short of sublime and original songs such as Wanna Be Your Man are spot-on.
As a one-way ticket to an era when swing was king, Something In The Water is hard to resist. Anyone for cocktails?/o:p