Oklahoma-based singer-songwriter JD McPherson, who continues to receive high praise for his Rounder Records debut “Signs and Signifiers,” will make his national television debut June 6 on the TBS late-night show “Conan.”
“Signs and Signifiers” recently hit No. 1 on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart and entered the Billboard rock charts and cross-genre Billboard 200 list, according to a news release. The vinyl edition of the album will be released Tuesday.
With more than 550,000 YouTube views for his self-directed video for his single “North Side Gal,” which the Riverfront Times hails as “a hit waiting for a chart, a single looking for a jukebox, an irresistible dance number,” McPherson was named WXPN’s May “Artist of the Month,” featured on KCRW’s “Today’s Top Tune,” and was recently featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered.” To read the NPR feature click here.
McPherson and his band are known for their energetic live shows and continue to tour the U.S. with new dates added in Sacramento, Calif.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Santa Fe, N.M.; Baltimore, Md.; Hoboken and Bordentown, N.J.
Last week, he played home state shows at Oklahoma City’s VZD’s and Tulsa Mayfest. He will return to Oklahoma for a June 13 show at Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa. For more information, go to www.cainsballroom.com.
Hailing from Broken Arrow, the former art teacher traveled to Chicago to record “Signs and Signifiers” at Hi-Style studio, which is housed in the attic of producer/bassist/studio owner Jimmy Sutton’s home and is 100 percent analog.
McPherson, 35, has been getting international attention for the album, originally released in 2010 on Hi-Style. The album recently was re-released by Rounder Records, the respected roots-music label that is home to Alison Krauss, Dr. John, Robert Plant and dozens of other artists with strong ties to folk, blues, world music and traditional R&B.
“We made the record with no dream of it doing much more than us being able to fly to Spain a couple of times a year to play a roots weekender,” McPherson told The Oklahoman Assistant Entertainment Editor George Lang in a phone interview last week. “We knew that it would probably do OK with the subculture of folks that are into that kind of stuff.”
Featuring McPherson (lead and backing vocals, guitar), Jimmy Sutton (bass), and Alex Hall (drums, piano, organ), the album was recorded through a collection of vintage microphones into an old 1960’s Berlant 1/4-inch tape machine. The 12-track album kicks off with the fervent pulse of the first single, “North Side Gal,” and segues into one of the albums two covers, McPherson’s take on “Country Boy,” an old R&B number originally written and recorded by Tiny Kennedy.
The album hosts an array of guest musicians, including Scott Ligon on piano (NRBQ’s Terry Adams Rock & Roll Quartet); Jonathan Doyle (Nick Curran & the Lowlifes, White Ghost Shivers); Chicago’s Josh Bell (The Del Moroccos) on tenor and baritone saxophones; Susan Voelz (Alejandro Escovedo, Poi Dog Pondering) on violin; Allison Chesley (Helen Money) on cello, and Joel Paterson (The Modern Sounds) lends choice guitar work to the Joey Simone classic “Your Love (All That I’m Missing).”
McPherson last week recorded an acoustic version of “Dimes for Nickels” at Catoosa’s Blue Whale for the Delo Creative video series “Be Nice to Your Kids,” plus check out this video with more information about the upcoming Cain’s Ballroom show: