Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 2:35 pm
JD McPherson provides a refreshing reminder that retro roots music isn't timid: His debut album, Signs & Signifiers, synthesizes blues and rockabilly and old-school rock 'n' roll with an unmistakable punk spirit. Throughout the record, he finds the delicate balance between a classic, traditionalist sound and the understanding that the styles he's emulating are rooted in rebellion, menace and even danger.
McPherson, who recorded Signs & Signifiers on old analog equipment, really brings home his raw aesthetic on the live stage. On this page, he performs as part of the 2013 Newport Folk Festival, recorded live on Friday, July 26 in Newport, R.I.