Hailing from Broken Arrow, OK, JD McPherson has recorded four studio albums and toured extensively at venues worldwide, including festival sets at Glastonbury, Bonnaroo and Newport Folk Festival, among many others. Rolling Stone has described his music as “Timeless, forward-thinking rock & roll.” His 2017 LP, Undivided Heart & Soul, was released to widespread critical acclaim with NPR praising, “McPherson’s mastery of rock and soul fundamentals is beyond question, but his voice moves in wild ways on these songs, and the band exudes a new kind of risky energy.”
McPherson was born as the youngest child, growing up on the family’s cattle ranch near the town of Talihina. His father was a farmer, while his mother was a church minister. He took up the guitar at age 13.
“Where I actually grew up was just completely removed from anything resembling a town or a city. It was an hour away from the nearest supermarket. What that granted me was a lot of isolation and when you are bored you tend to work really hard on your interests. So it probably would have been a different story if I grew up in a town somewhere.”
He studied visual arts in college, earning a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Tulsa, and later worked as an art and technology teacher. McPherson taught middle school art for four years before embarking on a music career.
After deciding to pursue music more seriously, McPherson sent a demo to Jimmy Sutton of the small independent record label Hi-STYLE Records, which specialized in roots music. This was the start of a process that ultimately led to 2010’s Signs and Signifiers. After its wider release through Rounder Records, Rolling Stone gave Signs and Signifiers a 31⁄2 star (out of 5) review in November 2012 and labeled McPherson an “Artist to Watch.”
McPherson’s sophomore LP, Let The Good Times Roll, was released on Rounder Records in 2015, showing McPherson with a wider musical range and an even stronger ability to weave the present with the past.
In 2018 McPherson released his breakthrough debut Christmas album, SOCKS, featuring 11 all-original Christmas songs, the album received overwhelming critical praise…
“JD McPherson is a vivid reinterpreter of the strutting rock ’n’ roll of the 1950s. His holiday album, SOCKS, is a collection of original songs with startlingly original conceits.” –The New York Times
“SOCKS overflows with vintage rock & roll tidings of comfort and joy…You could easily fool someone into thinking you discovered a gem of an album from 60 years ago.” –Rolling Stone
“It’s not really much of a contest, in the end: McPherson’s album is so far ahead of the rest of the 2018 pack, everyone else is having to eat his Christmas dust.” —Variety
JD is currently recording a covers project (four songs have already been released digitally – “Just Around The Corner” by Big Al Downing, “Lust For Life/Sixteen” by Iggy Pop. “Let’s Rock” by Art Neville and “Manta Ray” by The Pixies). This summer JD will be part of the Robert Plant and Alison Krauss touring band as well as opening the show with his own band, “I was eating a bowl of Count Chocula when I got the call to come do my best Grady Martin impression with this gang of legends. Honored to have been invited, more than I can express.”
Video & Press
Magnet Exclusive: Premiere of JD McPherson’s “Holly, Carol, Candy & Joy” Video
[Magnet] JD McPherson had been itching to make a video for 2018’s Socks (New West) for a good long while—one that did justice to the offbeat, nostalgic fun of its original holiday tunes. “A couple of attempts were made, but nothing ever seemed to match the spark of the album,” says the Nashville-based roots and rockabilly stalwart. […]
JD McPherson Digs Into Vintage Holiday Sounds to Become Rock’s New King of Christmas
[Variety] The rocker talks about how a conversation with Nick Lowe led to his own modern Christmas classic, and why the Ronettes, the Drifters and Buck Owens still rule when it comes to vintage carols. By CHRIS WILLMAN What’s the greatest Christmas record of the 21st century so far? The one you’d most swear was recorded […]
JD McPherson Celebrates Mardi Gras in ‘Jubilee’ Video
Rock and soul artist filmed the clip in New Orleans [Rolling Stone] By Marissa R. Moss When JD McPherson released his Christmas album Socks last year, it became an instant classic for anyone who craved a bit of retro cheer — but the Nashville-based artist doesn’t confine himself to just one holiday. In honor of Mardi Gras, McPherson has released […]