JD McPherson serves up rock ‘n’ roll straight, no chaser

JD McPherson plays NYC on Wednesday and Thursday nights at the Mercury Lounge (6 Delancey Street). On Thursday afternoon, he'll also plays at 12:30 at J&R Music (23 Park Row). McPherson plays Boston on Friday at the Brighton Music Hall (158 Brighton Ave., Allston).

Just because JD McPherson’s sound faithfully resurrects the earliest era of rock ‘n’ roll doesn’t mean that he isn’t interested in the decades of music that came after Little Richard. Throughout a 40-minute conversation, the Oklahoma native speaks of the subtle ways he has been influenced by rap, punk, modern pop and even the Tejano sounds of Selena.

“I’ll play a Smiths song every once in a while, depending on who’s in the van,” he says of the soundtrack to the drives between gigs.

The Smiths were an undeniable influence on the title track of his new album on the Rounder label, “Signs and Signifiers.” That restrained atmospheric slow-burning tune is one of the true standouts on the album full of rockabilly flavored rave ups.

“There are bands that I could name that are just completely at like 99 all the time,” says McPherson of the frenzied tempo that many of his own songs hit. “But there’s only so much of that you can take. And one of my favorite bands of all time is Bad Brains. … They would do extremely intense hardcore performances and then pepper them with reggae, so it was like this ebb and flow, and that’s so important.”

So when watching McPherson tear it up on a vintage guitar as bassist Jimmy Sutton — who looks like he stepped right out of a Norman Rockwell painting — slaps a huge stand-up bass, just know that if somebody in the crowd requests a Wu Tang Clan song, the band will probably know how it goes. But rockabilly purists need not worry; they won’t actually play a Wu Tang song.

“I met a guy in Finland after a show,” McPherson recounts with a laugh. “He had the courage to come up onstage right after a show and kind of corner me and he was saying, ‘Don’t change anything! Keep doing this the exact same!’ and our drummer at the time said, ‘You know, that’s pretty much the ultimate compliment from a rockabilly guy.’”

McPherson says for this tour and the next album there will be a few changes.

“We’re not doing anybody any favors if we’re not writing what we want to do,” he says. “But the next record isn’t going to be a techno record or anything.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…