Signs and Signifiersby J.D. McPherson (Vinyl Record)
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J.D. McPherson: Signs and Signifiers (Vinyl LP)

Rounder / Umgd

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Singer/songwriter JD McPherson's 2010 debut album, Signs & Signifiers, is a rockin', bluesy, forward-thinking album that subtly breaks the conventions of most vintage rock projects. Produced and recorded with the retro expertise of bassist/guitarist Jimmy Sutton, the album is a gold mine of '50s-inspired rock and R&B, with some rockabilly twang thrown in for maximum effect. McPherson actually draws from a wide and eclectic array of influences including Son House, Charlie Feathers, the Wu-Tang Clan, and sundry blues and soul artists from Guitar Slim to Sam Cooke. The through-line that ties all of these influences together is McPherson's powerful and robust voice, which balances the shouter style of mid-century legends like Lloyd Price with a smoother, more controlled approach that falls somewhere between Gene Vincent and Clyde McPhatter. McPherson is a singer/songwriter in the truest sense, and his original tunes are a cut above the average retro-rockabilly artist both melodically and lyrically. Such songs as the leadoff single, North Side Gal, and the explosive album closer, Scandalous, bring to mind jukebox-fueled impromptu dance parties. North Side Gal, Country Boy, Fire Bug, Signs ; Signifiers, Wolf Teeth, Scratching Circles, A Gentle Awakening, Dimes for Nickels, B.G.M.O.S.R.N.R, I Can't Complain, Your Love (All That I'm Missing), Scandalous