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
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.