Wednesday 23 Apr

IndianGiver - Understudies

There’s a difference between being derivative and being inspired by something, a line a lot of artists can’t seem to find — or at least don’t care to.
04/22/2014 | Comments 0

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · New ear’s day

New ear’s day

2014 looks to be a big year for Oklahoma singer-songwriter J.D. McPherson as he focuses on a new record.

Becky Carman December 23rd, 2013

J.D. McPherson with Hayes Carll

7 p.m. Friday

Cain’s Ballroom

423 N. Main St., Tulsa

(918) 584-2306


Ask Broken Arrow’s J.D. McPherson if he has made any New Year’s resolutions and a list of abandoned promises from years prior comes out. He has “halfway mastered longbow archery” and is just about finished reading The Grapes of Wrath.

“As stalwart an Okie as I claim to be, I’d never read it,” McPherson said. “I know what happens at the end of the book; I just didn’t get there.”

But, to be fair, he has been a little busy. McPherson is just now coming down from three years of rigorous touring and promoting his critically acclaimed debut album, Signs & Signifiers, originally released in 2010 and then rereleased by Rounder Records in April 2012.

It makes sense, then, that he’s hesitant to lay out any definitive plans for the next year, though fans can expect a sophomore release, which the band recently finished tracking at Soil of the South Studios with Grammy-winning producer Mark Neill (probably best known for his work on The Black Keys’ star-making album Brothers).

This despite McPherson not having much downtime to work on new material.

“It is not the best way to do it, but a lot of the material was created and arranged in the studio, which is why it took longer than it should have,” he said. “Three sessions turned into six or seven. I haven’t, in the past, been wired to write on the road, but that’s something we’re going to try to change, because we learned how not to make a record this time.”

Working with Neill meant bassist Jimmy Sutton — who produced Signs & Signifiers at his studio in Chicago — handed over the primary production reins. And that’s not all that has changed.

“There’s kind of a different slant to this record, coming pretty much from the top down,” McPherson said. “We have a solid lineup now, and everybody brings something different. It’s a way more guitar-centric record, just more rock and roll than the first one, which really leaned on the ’50s R&B stuff. Plus, I took a lot more chances lyrically. I’ll be interested to see where this thing ends up.”

In the meantime, McPherson and his band will join Texas singer-songwriter Hayes Carll for a string of regional holiday shows. McPherson’s R&B and rockabilly style may differ from Carll’s country leanings, but McPherson — inarguably a roots musician of a different variety — said he jumped at the invitation to join Carll on his annual end-of-year run.

Friday’s date at Cain’s Ballroom means one more opportunity for Oklahoma fans to ring out 2013 with McPherson, but those who can’t make it — fear not. In the next year, it’s safe to say we’ll hear plenty from McPherson. He’s not going anywhere, because he’ll be everywhere.

“We’ll be really attacking the next record, maybe even more than the first one. We’re anxious to get this out, and our record label seems to be very excited,” McPherson said. “There’s work to be done, videos to be made, shows to be played.”

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