Pokey LaFarge In The Blossom Of Their Shade
This month’s pick comes with a couple caveats:
First, October 15 brought us the Beatles’ new Let It Be: Special Edition – Super Deluxe box set. This is, without question, the October ‘21 release I’m going to listen to most over the rest of my life. I know this because it has been, in its previous form(s), one of the records I’ve listened to most over the *past* years of my life. But that’s exactly why it won’t be my pick of the month. Obviously these little reviews I’m doing don’t have any rules other than the ones I decide to set for myself, but I’m disqualifying this box set because, in my mind, the Beatles effectively pose an insurmountable hurdle to comparison. In general, I hate terms like “favorite” and “best” in relation to bands and music; they’re too amorphous to have any meaning. But that said, if I judge any given new release, from any given month, next to any given Beatles album, the Beatles are almost certainly going to win out. It’s just not a level playing field. I’m also disqualifying it because, ya know, it was actually recorded 51 years ago.
The second caveat is that I could literally flip a coin between the other two records I considered this month.
I’m putting Jackson+Sellers’ Breaking Point in the runner-up position based solely on the fact that at one point in one song it got a little too frenetic for me while I was cooking. That’s right; the only thing I can find wrong with this record is that there are a few seconds on it that are not 100% conducive to following a recipe. So don’t overlook it. It’s a great record. In any room of my house except the kitchen, it might have been my pick of the month.
Taking all this into consideration, then, Pokey LaFarge takes the honors this month with In The Blossom Of Their Shade. I must admit I’m marginally less enamored with LaFarge as his music has strayed farther and farther from the ‘30s/‘40s sound of his first years. Even so, I’m always eager to hear his next record and I’m never disappointed when I do. The band is always tight, the rhythm is always directly in the pocket, and my head has absolutely no choice other than to bob along with every single tune. Go ahead, I dare you. Try to sit still through this record. You know you can’t.
Get some music in your ears, everybody!