Pokey LaFarge is set to release Rock Bottom Rhapsody later this week. The 13-song set is his New West Records debut and was produced by Chris Seefried (Fitz and the Tantrums). The album was recorded at Reliable Recorders on Chicago’s Northwest Side during the polar vortex of 2019 and features the guitarist Joel Paterson, keyboardist Scott Ligon, upright/electric bassist Jimmy Sutton, and drummer Alex Hall.
Pokey has now shared the video for the song ‘Bluebird’. Lafarge says, “I wanted to write a song that I could see people dancing to at Pacific Parc in Amsterdam. A place where I’ve gone many times with friends to listen and drink and dance to 45’s until dawn.”
See the Horatio Baltz-directed video, below….
“The man singing these songs isn’t exactly the same man that wrote them,” says LaFarge. “This album is about the story of who I used to be.” In early 2018 he relocated from his longtime home base of St. Louis to Los Angeles. New songs came quickly to LaFarge in his new environment, but new temptations soon found him, as well. He admits that he experienced a significant “fall from grace” during the last months of 2018. “Things started to unravel in my mind. I was letting evil spirits and demons rule me, and I came into certain agreements with them, and it took me down. I was giving too much power to darkness, and I got in too deep, and I made some bad decisions. The reality of the situation is that I hit the closet to rock bottom that I ever had, and I’ve definitely had some hardships in my life.”
While songs on Rock Bottom Rhapsody were mostly written before LaFarge’s life went into a downward spiral, their lyrics definitely speak of a soul in crisis — even though their author himself wasn’t fully aware of it at the time. “It’s a case of me writing the story and writing the song, and then unfortunately living it,” he reflects. “I was going towards the darkness. Destruction definitely ensued; self-sabotage and self-destruction definitely happened.”
But shortly before the recording of Rock Bottom Rhapsody began, LaFarge experienced a spiritual awakening — and the faith he re-embraced in his hour of darkness helped to buoy him through the making of the album. “I wrote this record before the fall from grace, and then it was recorded after the fall from grace. So you see how that could be kind of odd,” he says. “What I was searching for was peace and humility in the aftermath of carnage, of things I had wrecked, and — seemingly at the time — completely destroyed. I was just trying to survive; I had to fight every time to get up to that microphone and just sing. It was kind of a last stand.”
During the recording of the album, LaFarge took a break to take a “dark, sad, villainous role” in the forthcoming Netflix film ’The Devil All The Time’ which was produced by the notable music supervisor Randall Poster and the actor Jake Gyllenhaal. “The irony wasn’t lost on me that, one month after finding God, the first feature film opportunity that comes across my table has that for a title,” he chuckles.