Musician J.D. McPherson on Signs & Signifiers
These are busy times for musician J.D. McPherson, seeing as this week he will be making the rounds at SXSW, then next month will see Rounder Records re-release his album, Signs & Signifiers (initially released by his bass player Jimmy Sutton's HiStyle Records in 2010). McPherson is a singer/songwriter who clearly has an affinity for music's history, but with a distinctive voice that defies any comparison and that is garnering him an increasing amount of attention. Last week he learned that his music had been nominated in the rock/hard rock category by the Independent Music Awards. This was on the heels of learning last month that Decca Records will be releasing his Signs & Signifiers in the United Kingdom, news that pleased him so much that he tweeted "This is more special than gold to me". McPherson was recently kind enough to answer a few of my questions about the making of his album in this email interview. After reading the interview, be sure to check his tour page to see if he's playing near you.
How important was it to you to be able to record Signs & Signifiers in 100% analog?
It was my first experience recording in this way, and I can promise you that I have no interest in recording in any other environment from here on out. It was a completely exciting and rewarding process.
How early in the CD's development did you realize you wanted to record a cover of Country Boy?
It was a couple of weeks before I had left for Chicago. I was listening to Tiny Kennedy's version of Country Boy in the car. I really liked the groove of the song, and the repetitiveness of the lyrics. During recording, we had discussions to make it have more of a hip hop influence, in the way that the music mimics a "loop". It's a very sparse arrangement, one of my favorites on the record.Continued on the next page