Listen to JD McPherson's in-studio session recorded in Nashville

JD McPherson
JD McPherson (Alysse Gafjken)
JD McPherson with Bill DeVille, recorded in Nashville for The Current (full session + interview)
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  • JD McPherson with Bill DeVille, recorded in Nashville for The Current (full session + interview) 22:06
  • JD McPherson - Crying's Just a Thing You Do (Live on The Current) 03:23
  • JD McPherson - On The Lips (Live on The Current) 03:40
  • JD McPherson - Lucky Penny (Live on The Current) 03:34

It's been a big year for JD McPherson. Not only has he released a new album, Undivided Heart and Soul, but he's also relocated to Nashville, Tenn., from his native Oklahoma. "This is the biggest city I've ever lived in," McPherson says.

"Living in Tulsa — which is a very small city but a great city — I'll be honest, it wasn't too much of a culture shock," McPherson continues. "It wasn't as though I moved to Seattle or Los Angeles or New York City. There was enough familiar stuff in Nashville to Oklahoma, like the food's pretty much the same; you go outside of town a little bit, you hear a little bit of a drawl in somebody's voice. But I'm still not adjusting to the traffic. The traffic is insane."

Despite the insane traffic, McPherson has found a community of musicians who've reached out to their new neighbor. "That's one thing I'll say about this town is that everybody — at least that I've met — has been very welcoming and really helpful in a lot of ways," he says.

That's a good thing — McPherson and his band have been busy putting the finishing touches on Unidivided Heart and Soul, released Oct. 6. Just a couple weeks before the album release, The Current's Bill DeVille was in Nashville for Americana Fest when he met up with McPherson at Addiction Sound Studios to record this in-studio session for The Current, which aired Sunday, Oct. 8, on United States of Americana.

"We're really excited," McPherson says about the new album's release. "There's been an overwhelmingly positive response so far."

Bill DeVille and JD McPherson at Addiction Sound Studios in Nashville.
Bill DeVille and JD McPherson at Addiction Sound Studios in Nashville. (Bill DeVille | MPR)

Undivided Heart and Soul explores new sonic territory compared to McPherson's earlier albums. "If you look at the other two records, the material lands a little closer to [songs] 'Head Over Heels' and 'Let the Good Times Roll'," McPherson explains. "It lands a little more in the neighborhood of the sonics of Link Wray."

Another subtle yet important difference is how drummer Jason Smay switched to plastic drum heads on a few tracks. ""Put that dude on some plastic-head drums and he's just whomping on them," McPherson enthuses. "It was a lot of fun figuring some of these things out."

DeVille notes how McPherson and his band — drummer Smay, bassist Jimmy Sutton, keyboardist Ray Jacildo and saxophonist/guitarist Doug Corcoran — have remained a solid unit for nearly six years. McPherson says the road hasn't always been easy, and he's learned to not take the group for granted. "The main thing is you have to let everybody know that you appreciate them, and that's something that I've fallen short of in the past, and you need to really let them know that you do appreciate them," McPherson acknowledges. "And just apologize when you do something wrong."

Listen to the complete session to hear songs by JD McPherson — and also to hear a catalogue of foods that McPherson and his bandmates enjoyed between gigs during their two-day run at the 2017 Minnesota State Fair.

Songs Performed

"Crying's Just a Thing You Do"
"On The Lips"
"Lucky Penny"
All songs from JD McPherson's 2017 album, Undivided Heart & Soul, available on New West Records.

Thanks to Joel Habbeshaw for his assistance with this session.


JD McPherson - official site

Addiction Sound Studios

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