JD McPherson comes to Europe!

Posted by Fiona On June - 21 - 20114,741 views
JD McPherson..
For the most of us, a name we didn’t know.
With his new album Signs&Signifiers, we know rockabilly music is still alive!
The pure, raw and vintage sounds, made me curious…
Who is this man?
Let’s find out what makes him tick!

– I’m always curious about the youth of a musician. During the youth of a musician, often a strong fundament is laid by which he is influenced.

When I listen to Signs & Signifiers, I hear influences of Bo Diddley, Jackie Wilson, Ray Charles and Little Richard.
What kind of music did you grow up with? What do you recall about your childhood regarding music?
My father loved jazz and blues, my mother loved pop and country. I liked punk and “alternative” music. In the extremely rural area where I grew up, it was play country music or play nothing. So, as a young fellow, I played in my own little punk rock band on the back porch, and also played in my friends’ dad’s country & western band. My father would buy me tapes of Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker, and it was easy to get into. I didn’t get into 50’s Rock N’ Roll and Rockabilly until I was 17 or 18.


– Who are your musical heroes? Can you name some? Was there a certain someone that turned you on to them?

James Brown, Little Richard, Tina Turner, Phyllis Dillon, Ken Boothe, David Byrne, Benny Joy, Bad Brains, Johnny Marr, The Pixies, The Stooges, Mickey Baker, Desmond Dekker, Bo Diddley, Pat Cupp, to name a very few of very many.
The first rockabilly I ever got was a box set of the Buddy Holly Decca material. It changed everything for me.

– Cause of your bassplayer with the ‘odd’ habit to collect vintage recording stuff, it isn’t surprising that Signs & Signifiers sounds vintage.
But I know that isnt an easy one, to get this sound. How did you manage to get such a vintage sound on the album?
The recording process is all analog, and the equipment is all late 50s/early 60s, and is top notch quality. These types of recording equipment produce the very specific set of audio qualities that we all enjoy. Also, Jimmy, Alex and the rest of those Chicago guys are the very best at performing that type of music… They’ve spent years playing it, and digging through all of the nuances that make that music special.  

– I appreciate the balance between all musicians heard on the album. So how did the balance between all instruments on the album come about? Was that your wish or a recording engineers wish?

Alex Hall, the drummer and engineer, is an absolute genius when it comes to recording, engineering, mixing, and mastering. Seriously, he’s a master! That said, we all (Jimmy, Alex, and I) all had a voice in the mixing process.


– Why did you choose these musicians to work with as they are all in more different bands themselves?

They are all based in Chicago, where Hi-Style records is located… As producer, Jimmy Sutton selected the musicians he thought would bring the best qualities to the album. The core band, however, is Jimmy Sutton, Alex Hall, and myself.


– In July there will be a European tour. Did you play across Europe as a frontman before?

I’ve only been out of the United States once, when The Stark Weather Boys performed in Spain, at High Rockabilly festival. It was fantastic. There has been a wonderful reception from Europe, and we plan to tour there quite a bit.


– Is there something I forgot to ask, you want to mention?

I am so incredibly appreciative of the warm response we have received from the folks in Europe, certainly in the Benelux area. Can’t wait to get over there and meet everyone. Thanks very much!!

For for JD McPherson, just check:


– How long have you been playing together? And how did you meet?
I met Jimmy through MySpace. I was, of course, aware of him through his bands and reputation… He invited my band to play in Chicago a few times, and from there we started talking about a project in his newly completed analog studio.

– Can you tell something about your musical journey when you first picked up the guitar? Did you start singing right away along with the playing?

So do you see yourself as a singer who plays guitar or more a guitarist who sings?
I was around 15 or 16 years old when I first became interested in guitar. I didn’t want to do much else. As I became older, my interests fragmented so much, but guitar was still important to me. In the beginning, I would say that singing was more of a means to an end… It was something you just had to do to have a band. It wasn’t until much later that I actually began to think about singing as a worthwhile endeavor.

– I did some research but there isn’t a lot to find about you. Have you done more recording as a solo artist in the past?
I’ve always worked a lot in Oklahoma. The only band I was in that traveled outside of the U.S. was The Stark Weather Boys. Other than that, I mostly stayed in my home state.

One Response to “JD McPherson comes to Europe!”

  1. swingtime66 says:


    Watch the vids from JD McPherson and band live @ Hoorn
    july 10-2011

    grts Marielle ♫ ♪ ♫

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