Album Notes - Pokey LaFarge - In the Blossom of Their Shade

Album Notes - Pokey LaFarge - In the Blossom of Their Shade

November 5, 2021

After Obscure October carried us through four decades and four albums of which the general public's fondness is not matched by my own, we're now ringing in November with an artist previously featured here twice, one who's made a career out of sounding like he emerged in the middle of the last century.

When I wrote about Pokey LaFarge's Manic Revelations back in 2017, I remarked on the slight shift in his songwriting, away from the Appalachian folk roots to a slicker 60s soul sound. I also wondered whether he was doing his take on different decades, joking that "Pokey goes disco" would be next. I was wrong. Instead of progressing chronologically, the man born Andrew Heissler opted to move longitudinally south. 

Before even listening to this ten-track, 39-minute LP, the title and cover art for In the Blossom of Their Shade reveal the stylistic leanings on his ninth album. It will still likely be a disarming experience for long-time fans to hear Pokey do his take on cocktail-in-hand Caribbean sounds. But rest assured, his latest effort contains all of the characteristics that exude the "wait, when exactly was this guy born?" essence that allows Monsieur LaFarge to (1) recall days of yore, (2) probably come across as a hipster, yet (3) manifest more authenticity than damn near anyone else who attempts to align with that aesthetic.

Regardless, In the Blossom of Their Shade is another charming, seemingly effortless display of the songwriting sensibilities from the Illinois native. It also doubles as the breeziest set in his catalog. Always growing and expanding, forever Pokey.