published Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Pokey LaFarge headlines Nightfall - May 23


What: Nightfall featuring Pokey LaFarge.

When: 8 p.m. Friday, May 23. The 9th Street Stompers open at 7 p.m.

Where: Miller Plaza, 850 Market St.

Admission: Free.

Phone: 423-265-0771.

Website: nightfall


The Chattanooga-based 9th Street Stompers incorporate elements of swing, rockabilly, jazz, gypsy, tango and blues into an early 20th-century sounding musical melange.

Skip Frontz Jr. (string bass) and Lon Eldridge (guitar, ukulele, kazoo) share vocal duties. They are backed by

Dalton Chapman (guitar), John Boulware (fiddle), Christie Burns (piano) and Bryan Gross (drums).

When you see or hear the name Metallica, you kind of know it's a metal band. Just as you know before hearing the first note that New Kids on the Block is going to be a contrived pop band.

Pokey LaFarge, this week's Nightfall headliner, has one of those names. It conjures up images of a stand-up bass, a washboard player and maybe a swinging piano player, playing a mix of blues, jazz, ragtime, country and Western swing, perhaps with a Cajun attitude.

That's pretty much what you get with LaFarge. His five-piece touring band features Joey Glynn on bass, Adam Hoskins on guitar, Ryan Koenig on harmonica, snare drum and washboard, TJ Muller on cornet and trombone and Chloe Feoranzo on clarinet and saxophone.

LaFarge, 30, was born Andrew Heissler in Illinois. His mother dubbed him Pokey because he was slow to follow orders.

Always interested in history and literature, he found both in the blues and the masters of the genre. He traded in his guitar for a mandolin and took on the name LaFarge to better reflect his new passion for Americana music.

LaFarge's album "Middle of Everywhere" won the Independent Music Award for Best Americana Album in 2011. Around the same time, he put out "Chittlin' Cookin' Time in Cheatham County," which was produced by Jack White.

White asked the band to collaborate with him on the song "I Guess I Should Go To Sleep" for his 2012 "Blunderbuss" album and to tour with him in the summer and fall of 2012.

In 2013, LaFarge's version of "Lovesick Blues" with Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks was featured in an episode of "Boardwalk Empire," and he appeared on-screen in Disney's "The Lone Ranger."

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

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