Pokey LaFarge Track-By-Track of ‘Rock Bottom Rhapsody’

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Pokey LaFarge is set to release his ninth studio album on Friday, ‘Rock Bottom Rhapsody,’ via New West Records and it is anticipated to continue the ramp up of his already impressive career.

His 2010 album ‘Riverboat Soul’ claimed the Best Americana Album as did his follow-up, ‘Middele of Everywhere.’ His ‘Something in the Water’ offerings was named one of the Best Folk Albums of 2015 and after ‘Manic Revelations’ in 2017 he was named the winner of the Ameripolitan Music Awards Western Swing Male performer.

Having taken time between that 2017 album and this latest release, a lot more variance is to be expected.

LaFarge breaks down the pacing and stories behind the tracks:

  • Rock Bottom Rhapsody – A fitting intro to my thematic mix tape
  • End Of My Rope – There’s perhaps only one thing for an artist to do when when they perceive that everyone and everything has slipped through their fingers and that’s to get back up on stage and ‘let the spotlight shine the skin off my bones’. (Charlie Feathers meets Everly Bros. meets T-Rex)
  • Fuck Me Up – I had a million ideas but for too long a-time had no songs from it. I decided to write a song about the feeling of frustration, failure, and foolishness…I guess. I just want something to ‘fuck me up’…’everyone feels like that’ sometimes’. (Willie Dixon on an acid trip)
  • Bluebird – I wanted to write a dancehall song that I could see people dancing to at Pacific Parc in Amsterdam. An ode to a woman… Is she real, is she fake? I don’t know…an amalgamation of women I’ve known or wished I’d known, perhaps. (Amy Winehouse meets Duke Ellington)
  • Rock Bottom Reprise – The underlying sonic string theme was essential for me as a setup for the next song—‘Lucky Sometimes’. 
  • Lucky Sometimes – …is about me and my love at the time…with fiction, truth, and allegories…a poetic tale of how we met; how I wasn’t worthy and how we both knew it, but tried our best to let love overcome. (moon-faced hobo love song)
  • Carry On – A lot of different musical styles I listen to but I don’t ever try and cop their beat. I can’t help but take my own influences and put them into my own groove. I’ve never been successful at copying anyone; I’m a failed copycat. So a song that I wrote first on the ukulele with a Rocksteady beat, I switched around to be more of a soul tune. (Alton Ellis meets The Beatles)
  • Just the Same – A plea from a guy who did his lover wrong… in his attempt to make amends he invites her to go ice skating in heaven or take a drive through Laurel Canyon in his 1972 white Mercedes while tripping on acid—no destination in mind. (My Laurel Canyon-esque love song)
  • Fallen Angel – You hear the record scratching and there he lay dead on the satay. No one’s fed the cat. It just meows and paws at the owner’s pant leg. He always had trouble sleeping. He just needed stronger medicine—that’s all. (A sea chanty from Roy Orbison in hell with all of his friends) 
  • Storm-a-Comin’ – if you’ve ever spent a winter in Chicago, you know there’s no worse a time and place to be heartbroken. (Esther Phillips if produced by Phil Spector)
  • Ain’t Comin’ Home – Anyone who’s ever said ‘ah, too heck with it, gimme another damn drink—let’s dance some mo’. (50’s or 60’s Charlie Rich meets Alton Ellis meets Sam Cooke)
  • Lost in the Crowd – a result of snapshots in my mind from the darker side of my time in Los Angeles; homelessness, hopelessness, anonymity, futility…(a Los Angeles lament in 6/8 time)
  • Rock Bottom Finale – The end of the movie…the crowd walks out into the street…into cabs, into trains, into bars—home. That’s the end of the story. 

Leave a Reply

John Prine, one of Americana’s most beloved artists, dies from coronavirus

Julian Taylor Premieres Title Track, “The Ridge”