online listen
must be a re-release
several sites have it listed as new
allmusic says 2010
throwback to 50's rock 'n' roll/rockabilly
original tunes but not original if you've been there
weak lyrically
1.3 from me and a converted 2.4 from the pros at allmusic

from the album - North Side Gal

released Apr 17th, 2012

Bio - from allmusic

Singer/songwriter JD McPherson makes vintage-sounding rock with nods to '40s R&B, blues, and '50s rockabilly. A
native of Oklahoma, McPherson grew up listening to a wide array of musical styles from traditional country and
rockabilly to punk and hip-hop. Although music was always an interest, McPherson first worked on his family's
cattle ranch and later earned a master's degree in open media from Tulsa University, eventually teaching and
receiving attention for his video art installations. McPherson is a member of the Tulsa-based rockabilly ensemble
the Starkweather Boys, whose classic style caught the ear of Chicago retro-rock impresario Jimmy Sutton. A job
backing Sutton on a few shows followed for McPherson, as did the idea of his own solo project. In 2010, McPherson
released his solo debut, the Sutton-produced Signs & Signifiers (featuring the single "North Side Gal"), on Hi-
Style Records.

Album Review - from allmusic

Singer/songwriter JD McPherson's 2010 debut album, Signs & Signifiers, is a rockin', bluesy, forward-thinking album
that subtly breaks the conventions of most vintage rock projects. Produced and recorded with the retro expertise of
bassist/guitarist Jimmy Sutton, the album is a gold mine of '50s-inspired rock and R&B, with some rockabilly twang
thrown in for maximum effect. That said, McPherson actually draws from a wide and eclectic array of influences
including Son House, Charlie Feathers, the Wu-Tang Clan, and sundry blues and soul artists from Guitar Slim to Sam
Cooke. The through-line that ties all of these influences together is McPherson's powerful and robust voice, which
balances the shouter style of mid-century legends like Lloyd Price with a smoother, more controlled approach that
falls somewhere between Gene Vincent and Clyde McPhatter. McPherson is a singer/songwriter in the truest sense, and
his original tunes are a cut above the average retro-rockabilly artist both melodically and lyrically. Such songs
as the driving, Twist-ready leadoff single, "North Side Gal," and the explosive album closer, "Scandalous," bring
to mind jukebox-fueled impromptu dance parties. Which isn't to say McPherson is merely interested in old-school
sounds. On the contrary, tunes like the bluesy, spiritual-inspired title track (which borrows the Smiths'
oscillating guitar intro from "How Soon Is Now") and the soul-blues dirge "A Gentle Awakening" with its symphonic
strings and piano background bring to mind classic '60s cuts by Ray Charles, as well as contemporary numbers by
Alicia Keys. The album does benefit greatly from the vintage, live-recording aesthetic that Sutton and engineer
Alex Hall have perfected over the years with other similarly inclined bands like the Four Charms and the Del
Moroccos. It also doesn't hurt that McPherson is backed here by a bevy of roots musicians including drummer Hall,
saxophonist Jonathan Doyle, guitarist Joel Paterson, and others. Ultimately, as the album's conceptual title
implies, Signs & Signifiers paints a picture of McPherson as a kind of post-structuralist retro-rocker, living in
the moment with one boot in the past and the other boot in the future.

Track Listing

1. North Side Gal
2. Country Boy
3. Fire Bug
4. Signs & Signifiers
5. Wolf Teeth
6. Scratching Circles
7. A Gentle Awakening
8. Dimes for Nickles
9. B.G.M.O.S.R.N.R.
10. I Can't Complain
11. Your Love (All That I'm Missing)
12. Scandalous