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Pokey LaFarge performing “Garbage Man Blues” at Music City Roots from the Loveless Cafe in Nashville.
Pokey LaFarge (born Andrew Heissler in 1983) is an American musician, writer, and actor. The nickname “Pokey” was coined by his mother, who would scold him to hurry when he was a child. In his early teens, while he was living in Normal, Illinois, LaFarge first heard blues at Jake’s Pizza, run by a man named Juice. Jake’s Pizza was decorated with portraits of bluesmen, and exclusively played blues; the music of Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon in particular inspired LaFarge. He discovered an appreciation for older blues musicians like Skip James, Robert Wilkins, and Sleepy John Estes. After hearing Bill Monroe at age 16, LaFarge traded the guitar his grandfather had given him for a mandolin. He adopted the name “Pokey LaFarge” because it sounded like what he was looking for musically during the time he was moving around the country. At the age of seventeen, he hitchhiked to the west coast and earned a living as a busker on streets, sidewalks, and pedestrian malls. He’s still busking, but in larger venues.
Running time: 4 minutes
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