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Signs and Signifiers

MCPHERSON,JD

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VJQC Score: N/A
Artist: MCPHERSON,JD
Album Name: SIGNS & SIGNIFIERS
Record Label: ROUNDER / UMGD
Genre: ROCK
Format: VINYL LP
Release Date: 5/29/2012

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.