The Rapidian

Photo Gallery: Pokey LaFarge and Lillie Mae at The Pyramid Scheme

St. Louis musician Pokey LaFarge and supporting act Lillie Mae brought a blend of country, jazz, and more to The Pyramid Scheme June 18th.
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Sunday brought a crowd of all ages to The Pyramid Scheme as Pokey LaFarge arrived for day five of his nation-wide tour promoting his latest album, Manic Revelations. Opener Lillie Mae, who put out her debut solo album Forever and Then Some this past April, easily got the crowd moving with her powerful country songs. With her fiddle and guitar playing accompanied by her brother Frank on guitar, sister Grace singing and playing along, bassist Brian Zonn and drummer Tanner Jacobson, her songs were brimming with harmony and spirit. The musicians were reserved on stage but always meeting eyes and smiling at each other. With the audience cheering and ready for more, Pokey LaFarge came on stage.

When I spoke to Pokey LaFarge a couple weeks ago about his show in Grand Rapids, he warned me I may not know how to describe his music to those unfamiliar with his unique style. His guitar-playing and singing, along with the South City Three and other musicians, gave the audience a rollercoaster ride through a blend of jazz, R&B, folk, western swing, and elements of a variety of other genres. A slow, swinging tune with harmonious brass instrumentation would be followed by a fast-paced, stripped-down blues folk song.

After an extensive set and encore that ranged Pokey's discography, he ended the night with his song "Josephine," a soulful, acoustic love song that had the crowd singing along until brought down to a whisper before screaming and hollering praise as he wished the crowd a good night. His performance and overflowing enthusiasm provided a nearly indescribably experience that had everyone in The Pyramid Scheme bouncing their knees or tapping their toes. Pokey was right - my attempts to describe his adventurous St. Louis sound could not do it justice. If you get the chance to see Pokey LaFarge in the future, do not pass it up.

 

Pokey LaFarge at The Pyramid Scheme

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