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Wednesday, 30 November 2011 23:45

Pokey LaFarge and Ryan Spearman 11/30/11 + Video

Pokey LaFarge and Ryan Spearman 11/30/11 Kelsey McClure
Written by Roy Kasten
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About this Media...

  • Date Recorded: November 30, 2011
  • Artist / Band: Pokey LaFarge and Ryan Spearman
  • Hosting Show: Fishin' With Dynamite
  • Sound: Jon Valley
  • Video: Matt Bottchen

Lock up the liquor and hide the tinder. When Pokey LaFarge and Ryan Spearman get down to the old-time bootleg blues, the sparks fly and the melodies flow.

LaFarge and Spearman are among the most accomplished musicians on the St. Louis blues, roots, folk, whatever-you-want-to-call-it write an essay scene. Spearman is a fixture at the Folk School of St. Louis and was named Best Folk Artist by the Riverfront Times in 2010. LaFarge has transcended his early one-man, blues-punk busking roots to record for Jack White's Third Man label and become an international touring machine with the South City Three. But the accolades only tell part of the story.

For this Live at KDHX session, the duo -- who share a deep love of traditional American music but have never performed together before -- pick and saw and wail and harmonize, covering Spearman's instrumental "Extremist Stomp," two songs penned by the prolific Pokey -- "Kentucky Woman Blues" and "Broke, Lonesome and Blue" -- and a rave-up of the traditional number, "Policeman," which is more than apropos for these Occupy Everything days.

Pokey LaFarge and Ryan Spearman perform at Sheldon Concert Hall for the Folk School of St. Louis 10th Anniversary Concert, December 1, 2011, an event welcomed by KDHX.

All photos by Kelsey McClure. See more at her Flickr stream.

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