JD McPherson and band pull up their 'Socks' in The Current studio

JD McPherson and his band perform the title track to their 2018 album, "Socks," live in The Current studio. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
Play/Pause
Listen:
JD McPherson performs in The Current studio (full session + interview)
Download MP3
| 00:21:02
  • JD McPherson performs in The Current studio (full session + interview) 21:02
  • JD McPherson - All The Gifts I Need (Live at The Current) 02:39
  • JD McPherson - Bad Kid (Live at The Current) 03:19
  • JD McPherson - Socks (Live at The Current) 03:35

JD McPherson once told himself he would never make a Christmas album. But something else was bubbling under the surface. "I'm a Christmas fanatic," McPherson says. "I loved it from the first moment I saw it. You know, I might have a thin veneer of cynicism about me, but on the inside, I'm 100 percent Charlie Brown Christmas."

After spending two Christmases in Nashville after relocating his family there from Oklahoma a couple years ago, McPherson reconsidered his earlier resolution. Drawing inspiration from a range of classic Christmas albums — including Nick Lowe's recent classic, Quality Street — McPherson set to work writing 11 original songs that now comprise his latest release, A Christmas Album: Socks. In town to play a show at First Avenue in Minneapolis, McPherson and his bandmates — Doug Corcoran, Ray Jacildo, Jason Smay and Jimmy Sutton — stopped at The Current for a session hosted by Brian Oake and Jill Riley.

"Anything you'd guess I would probably like from the Christmas canon, you would probably be right," McPherson says. "It's going to be all the Bings and the Darlene Loves and all of those things. There's a lot of great music, but that seems to be the sonic imprint for me, is that time period. It just sounds right. It just sounds like the right sonic profile for Christmas music: the '40s, '50s and '60s."

McPherson also shares a secret about those Christmas albums and his own. "Almost every holiday-themed album you hear is recorded in the summertime," he explains. "And in the South where we recorded it, it was a nice, sultry, balmy 90 degrees Fahrenheit with 100 percent humidity, and it's a little bit difficult when your shirt's sticking to you to try to sing about snow and things like that."

But to evoke the seasonal mood, McPherson says he and his bandmates put a 1960s era rotating silver tree in the studio. "We were just having a really good time, and that helped make the circuit complete," he says.

And even though the title track paints a picture of a child disappointed with a holiday gift, McPherson feels otherwise. "I love getting socks for Christmas now," he clarifies. "I ask for them. Have you seen what they're doing with socks these days?"

Listen to the complete studio session using the audio player above.

Songs Performed


"All The Gifts I Need"
"Bad Kid"
"Socks"
All songs from JD McPherson's 2018 release, A Christmas Album: Socks, available on New West Records.

Hosted by Brian Oake and Jill Riley
Produced by Anna Weggel
Engineered by Michael DeMark
Visuals by Nate Ryan
Web feature by Luke Taylor

External Link

JD McPherson - official site

Related Stories

  • Creating a buzz: go inside JD McPherson's new 'Style' video The video for JD McPherson's single, 'Style (Is a Losing Game)' was shot during business hours at a barbershop in Los Angeles. 'All the barbers were really cool having us there,' says the video's director, Sean Dejecacion, who told McPherson, 'We've got to get you in a smock!' Watch the video and go inside its production.
  • Listen to JD McPherson's in-studio session recorded in Nashville In mid-September, Bill DeVille was in Nashville, Tenn., for Americana Fest. While there, DeVille connected with JD McPherson at Addiction Sound Studios in Nashville, where they recorded a live in-studio session. McPherson performed songs from his new album, 'Undivided Heart and Soul,' and he talked to DeVille about his recent move to Nashville, and about all the food he enjoyed at the 2017 Minnesota State Fair.
  • JD McPherson performs at Rock the Garden 2015 JD McPherson knows the secret to playing outdoor festivals in the afternoon: Give the people what they want. Stream McPherson's Rock the Garden 2015 set in its entirety.
  • JD McPherson performs in The Current studio (2015) The same week his latest record, 'Let the Good Times Roll', is released, JD McPherson and his band stopped in to The Current's studio ahead of their gig at First Avenue in Minneapolis. Asked why his music has so many fans in Minnesota, JD says, 'Minnesotans are very intelligent and sensitive, artistic people, with the highest level of taste.' Listen to the full in-studio session.
  • JD McPherson performs in The Current studio (2014) In town to play a couple of gigs at the Turf Club in St. Paul, JD McPherson and his band stop by The Current's studio to chat with Bill DeVille and to play some tunes they're currently road-testing in the run-up to the release of their next album.

12 Photos

  • JD McPherson performs in The Current studio
    Multi-instrumentalist Doug Corcoran plays the vibraphone with JD McPherson in The Current studio. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • JD McPherson performs in The Current studio
    Jimmy Sutton on bass with JD McPherson in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • JD McPherson performs in The Current studio
    Drummer Jason Smay performs with JD McPherson in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • JD McPherson performs in The Current studio
    JD McPherson performs in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • JD McPherson performs in The Current studio
    JD McPherson performs in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • JD McPherson performs in The Current studio
    Ray Jacildo plays keys and tambourine with JD McPherson in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • JD McPherson performs in The Current studio
    Doug Corcoran and Jimmy Sutton of the JD McPherson Band performing in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • JD McPherson performs in The Current studio
    Doug Corcoran on saxophone with JD McPherson in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • JD McPherson portrait at The Current
    JD McPherson portrait at The Current (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • JD McPherson portrait at The Current
    JD McPherson portrait at The Current (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • JD McPherson portrait at The Current
    JD McPherson portrait at The Current (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • JD McPherson, 'Socks'
    JD McPherson, 'Socks: A Christmas Album' (New West Records)

comments powered by Disqus