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JD McPherson: What’s Old is Updated and is New Again

Then long and interesting bio of Jonathan David (known as JD) McPherson goes beyond most artists’ site profiles. Of course, the idea is to get you to listen and eventually buy the album or songs, so the basic theme is how terrific it all is. That’s a given. In some cases it’s true, in some it’s not. That, of course, is up to the listener. Where this profile excels is honestly digging into the nature and genesis of McPhersons’ work.

McPherson and musical partner Jimmy Sutton clearly have the talent to create rockabilly, R&B and other types of music as they were. That isn’t the goal, however. The sense of the piece — though it isn’t said so overtly — is that so much music has been made since those days and so many genres developed that a real piece of art — one made by young artists who are paying attention — can’t be a pure rehashing of the old.

Instead, they consciously and carefully melded their influences. The group – and, presumably, the album being released on February 10 — is a mix of many styles of music and cultures, including rhythm and blues, rockabilly, punk, hip hop, rocksteady, rock, and most likely a couple of others. The profile stresses that McPherson and Sutton go about it in a systematic and organized manner.

McPherson, who is from Broken Arrow, OK, has worked as an art teacher and artist. The point is that a good deal of forethought and planning go into making the mesh work. In such a scenario, the challenge is making it all work together without losing the spontaneity and excitement that first attracted the music makers to the music.

Above is “North Side Gal” and below is “Abigail Blue.”

McPherson’s site and Wikipedia were used to write this post.

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Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Also of Interest

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.