JD McPherson (Band to Watch, Rolling Stone), Rum Drum Ramblers (St. Louis, MO), Kelsey Waldon (Nashville, TN).
As a visual artist, Broken Arrow, Okla., native JD McPherson is well versed in the process of working within clearly defined formal parameters, and he employs a similarly rigorous discipline with his music. On Signs & Signifiers (Rounder, April 17), McPherson's seductively kickass debut album, produced by JD's musical partner, Jimmy Sutton, this renaissance man/hepcat seamlessly meshes the old and the new, the primal and the sophisticated, on a work that will satisfy traditional American rock 'n' roll and R&B purists while also exhibiting McPherson's rarefied gift for mixing and matching disparate stylistic shapes and textures.
What does dirty punk rock and down-home delta blues have in common? In short, the genres both reflect "struggle music." That being said, it is no surprise that the three stalwart gentlemen that form the Rum Drum Ramblers were once mohawk sporting, studded jacket donning, snot-nosed punk rockers in much of their high school youth. - See more
Armed with undeniable talent and an intense love of her craft (and country music), Kelsey Waldon is a rare and incredibly refreshing artist; an emerging force of raw, honestx, and grounded songwriting in the Nashville music scene. Having collected and absorbed more records in her 23 years than most people will hear in a lifetime, and drawing influence from songwriting greats such as Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, and Bob Dylan, she has an exceptional ability to evoke an older and often seemingly forgotten era of songwriting, while simultaneously creating a relevant, cutting edge, and unique style, true to her own experience.