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Interview:
JD McPherson follows his muse, and his music
 

By GARY GRAFF
for Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK

At 35, JD McPherson is a little older than the average new artist. Blame that on a slightly pessimistic attitude about his prospects in the music business.

"I didn't really there that where my interests lied would ever be a career," says McPherson, an Oklahoma native who's been playing in bands since he was a teenager but focused most of his energy in other areas, earning a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Tulsa -- "Not that it's much easier finding a career in that," he notes with a laugh.

But he always kept one foot in music no matter what he was doing. "I did dumb things like take off for two weeks during college and tour with a band -- and wonder why my grades were really bad," he recalls. "But I didn't think of it as (a career). It just kind of ended up happening this way."

"Signs and Signifiers," McPherson's debut album, came out this summer as a collaboration with producer and bassist Jimmy Sutton, who's part of McPherson's touring band. The sound is rootsy, blues- and country-flavored rock, but McPherson also incorporates influences such as punk, glam rock and alternative, as well as Wu-Tang Clan style loops on his cover of Tiny Kennedy's "Country Boy."

"It's kind of an art project disguised as an R&B record," says McPherson, who plans to start working on his second album in February. says. "I love everything, all kinds of music. There's a whole lexicon of rock 'n' roll history to draw from, and I think it's crazy to exclude things just because they don't quite fit a specific genre."

JD McPherson and Lucius perform Thursday, Oct. 11, at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15. Call 248-544-3030 or visit www.themagicbag.com.

Web Site: www.themagicbag.com

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