It only takes one look at Pokey LaFarge to know that he is from another time and place. The music man is usually clad in vintage duds, with his hair slicked back and a banjo or acoustic guitar strapped across his chest. He fancies himself somewhat of a collector, but he never nails down exactly what he collects.
“This stuff, the doo-dads and knick-knacks, old records and vintage clothes, it’s all made by the people for the people, you know?” LaFarge said. “They are handmade, in America. It’s that love of quality that got me where I am today.”
LaFarge and his band, The South City Three, will grace the stage at Maiden Alley Cinema on Wednesday along with The Dirt Daubers. Both bands bring a unique sound and catchy originals, tunes that could transport a live audience back to the 1940s if they closed their eyes.
“I go to a different place when I am on stage,” LaFarge said. “I’m really just as happy up there as the audience is listening.”
Although the band travels across the country, it always likes to stop in Paducah. LaFarge has played before at Maiden Alley, and also at the Market House Theatre and several other venues. The city, with its rich history as a river town, draws LaFarge whenever he is touring.
“Kentucky is my favorite state in the union,” LaFarge said with a laugh. “But Paducah has got this very old-time feeling to it. The people here are great and they seem to like when we come in, too.”
Although he strives to make it big in a genre that mostly features older musicians and rarely releases new music, LaFarge, 28, is confident in his music and his band. While some musicians are clamoring to be the “next big thing,” LaFarge is content with being part of the past.
“I was never into the commercial music scene,” LaFarge said. “I was never into any of the popular, mainstream stuff. It’s not who I am. I just have this need to create, to perform, and to pile up the pleasure for my audience.”
The band is planning to start on a new album in February, and may even be recording a live album in the near future. While sometimes his success still baffles him, it is clear that he didn’t set out just to play bars and taverns.
“This was the plan,” LaFarge said. “I have been preparing for this my whole life, so I am ready.”