JD McPherson

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JD McPherson
Background information
Birth nameJonathan David McPherson
Born (1977-04-14) April 14, 1977 (age 45)
Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States
OriginBroken Arrow, Oklahoma
GenresRock and roll, rhythm and blues, rockabilly[1][2]
InstrumentsGuitar, vocals
LabelsHi-STYLE, Rounder
  • JD McPherson (vocals, guitar)
  • Doug Corcoran (saxophone, guitar, keys)
  • Alex Hall (drums)
Past members
  • Jimmy Sutton (upright bass)
  • Jason Smay (drums)
  • Ray Jacildo (keys)

Jonathan David "JD" McPherson (born April 14, 1977), is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. He is known for a retro sound rooted in the rock and roll, rockabilly, and rhythm and blues music of the 1950s. Among influences such as Little Richard and Fats Domino, McPherson also draws inspiration from artists as diverse as the Wu-Tang Clan, Pixies, and Led Zeppelin.[2][3][4]


McPherson was born as the youngest child in his family in rural southeastern Oklahoma, growing up on the family’s cattle ranch near the town of Talihina.[5] His father was a farmer and ex-army, while his mother was a church minister.[6][7] He took up the guitar at age 13.[4] In high school, he played in a number of local punk rock bands and began writing his own songs.[8] He has stated that he has always been in a band of some sort since he was 16 years old.[9]

JD McPherson and band in 2016

Of his youth growing up in a quiet rural area, he said that this allowed him to involve himself in the pursuit of music:

But 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. I was granted a lot of opportunity to play the guitar, listen to music and read about music. So it probably would have been a different story if I grew up in a town somewhere.[9]

During this time, McPherson also developed a strong interest in 1950s rock and roll after being exposed to the music of Buddy Holly. This went on to shape his song writing and sound for bands he was in such as The Poison Okies and The Starkweather Boys.

The band at the Minnesota State Fair

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.[3] McPherson taught middle school art for four years before embarking on a music career,[10] later remarking that he loved teaching but did not enjoy the bureaucratic aspects of the job. As McPherson stated, "It feels like another life now... It taught me that I'm a terrible employee. I actually really enjoyed the teaching part of it, but wallowing in the mire of administrivia is not a thing I'm very good at."[11]

McPherson in 2017

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. Sutton agreed to produce McPherson's debut album, a process that ultimately led to 2010's Signs and Signifiers.[4] After its wider release through Rounder Records, Rolling Stone gave Signs and Signifiers a 3½ star (out of 5) review in November 2012 and labelled McPherson an "Artist to Watch."[12]

In 2015, McPherson produced the album You're Dreaming by The Cactus Blossoms.[13] The band played the acoustic stage at the Glastonbury Festival 2015 on Friday June 26, before continuing their European tour in the Netherlands.

In October 2015, JD McPherson and band appeared (in animated form) as musical guests performing a new and original song "Crazy Horse" for the DreamWorks animated TV series, The Mr. Peabody & Sherman Show on Netflix.[14][15]



Title Details Peak chart positions


Signs and Signifiers
  • Release date: April 17, 2012
  • Label: Rounder
47 161 1
Let the Good Times Roll
  • Release date: February 10, 2015
  • Label: Rounder
17 142 1
Undivided Heart & Soul
  • Release date: October 6, 2017
  • Label: New West
19 130
  • Release date: November 2, 2018
  • Label: New West

Signs & Signifiers[edit]

McPherson's debut album, Signs and Signifiers, was released in 2010 on Hi-STYLE Records. The album was given a major-label release by Rounder Records on April 17, 2012,[3] debuting at number one on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart and number 161 on the Billboard 200 the week of June 2, 2012. It also reached number 47 on the Billboard Rock Albums chart.[19]

The single "Your Love (All That I'm Missing)", from the album Signs and Signifiers, was released by Rounder/Hi-STYLE in the UK on June 18, 2012.[20]

1."North Side Gal"JD McPherson2:31
2."Country Boy"Big Tiny Kennedy2:44
3."Fire Bug"JD McPherson2:18
4."Signs & Signifiers"McPherson / Sutton4:46
5."Wolf Teeth"McPherson / Sutton2:57
6."Scratching Circles"McPherson / Sutton2:10
7."A Gentle Awakening"McPherson / Sutton3:26
8."Dimes For Nickels"JD McPherson2:43
9."B.G.M.O.S.R.N.R."McPherson / Sutton2:59
10."I Can't Complain"McPherson / Sutton2:37
11."Your Love (All That I'm Missing)"Joseph Simeone (of The Bellfuries)3:01
12."Scandalous"JD McPherson2:28
Total length:34:34

Let the Good Times Roll[edit]

McPherson's second album, Let the Good Times Roll, was released on February 10, 2015.[21]

1."Let the Good Times Roll"JD McPherson3:04
2."Bossy"JD McPherson3:18
3."It's All Over But the Shouting"JD McPherson / Mark Neill3:03
4."Bridgebuilder"Dan Auerbach / JD McPherson3:57
5."It Shook Me Up"JD McPherson2:25
6."Head Over Heels"JD McPherson3:18
7."Shy Boy"JD McPherson2:55
8."You Must Have Met Little Caroline?"JD McPherson3:36
9."Precious"McPherson / Sutton4:53
10."Mother of Lies"JD McPherson3:37
11."Everybody's Talking ‘Bout the All-American"JD McPherson2:11
Total length:36:17

Undivided Heart and Soul[edit]

JD McPherson's third album, Undivided Heart and Soul, was released on October 6, 2017. The song "Under the Spell of City Lights" is featured in the soundtrack of MLB The Show 18.

1."Desperate Love"JD McPherson / Doug Corcoran / Jason Smay / Ray Jacildo / Parker Millsap / Jimmy Sutton2:56
2."Crying’s Just a Thing You Do"McPherson / Corcoran / Sutton / Jacildo / Smay / Butch Walker3:15
3."Lucky Penny"McPherson / Jacildo / Smay / Corcoran / Jeffrey Randall Bowman / Sutton3:34
4."Hunting for Sugar"McPherson / Corcoran / Sutton / Jacildo / Smay4:15
5."On the Lips"JD McPherson3:41
6."Undivided Heart & Soul"JD McPherson3:18
7."Bloodhound Rock"JD McPherson4:21
8."Style (Is A Losing Game)"JD McPherson3:47
9."Jubilee"McPherson / Corcoran / Sutton / Jacildo / Smay4:41
10."Under the Spell of City Lights"McPherson / Aaron Lee Tasjan / Jacildo / Adam Molad / Sutton / Corcoran / Smay3:27
11."Let's Get Out of Here While We’re Young"JD McPherson / Corcoran / Molad / Sutton / Jacildo / Mandy McPherson / Smay / unknown writer3:07
Total length:40:22


JD McPherson's fourth album, Socks, a holiday album, was released on November 2, 2018. In Matt Collar's AllMusic review, he asserted that the album is "a jubilantly rockin' production, rife with humor and the Oklahoma-born singer's knack for old-school '50s R&B."[22]

1."All the Gifts I Need"JD McPherson & Trent Dabbs2:44
2."Bad Kid"JD McPherson3:14
3."Hey Skinny Santa!"JD McPherson & Doug Corcoran2:54
4."Socks"JD McPherson3:34
5."Every Single Christmas"JD McPherson & Nicole Atkins2:28
6."Ugly Sweater Blues"JD McPherson2:57
7."Holly, Carol, Candy & Joy"JD McPherson & Raynier Jacob Jacildo3:25
8."Santa's Got a Mean Machine"JD McPherson & Jason Smay2:35
9."What's That Sound?"JD McPherson & Raynier Jacob Jacildo2:33
10."Claus vs. Claus (feat. Lucie Silvas)"JD McPherson & Lucie Silvas3:40
11."Twinkle (Little Christmas Lights)"JD McPherson2:04
Total length:29:58

Singles and EPs[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions


North Side Gal
  • Release date: 2010
  • Label: Witchcraft International
Your Love (All That I'm Missing)
Dimes For Nickels
North Side Gal / Abigail Blue
  • Release date: 2012
  • Label: Hi-STYLE Records
Twinkle (Little Christmas Lights)
Fire Bug / A Gentle Awakening
I Wish You Would / Steal Away
The Warm Covers EP
Bossy / Rome Wasn't Built In A Day
A Little Respect
Lucky Penny

The Warm Covers EP[edit]

The Warm Covers EP, an EP consisting of four cover versions of other artist's songs, was released on the 14th of October, 2014.[24]

No.TitleWriter(s)Original artistLength
1."I Wish You Would"Billy Boy ArnoldBilly Boy Arnold2:45
2."Steal Away"Jimmy HughesJimmy Hughes3:08
3."Rome Wasn't Built In a Day"Nick LoweNick Lowe3:00
4."Why Lady Why"Richard Edward Scott & Teddy GentryAlabama3:01
Total length:11:54

Music videos[edit]

Year Video Director
2012 "North Side Gal" JD McPherson
"Fire Bug"
"A Gentle Awakening"
"Scratching Circles"
2015 "Head Over Heels" JD McPherson
"Let the Good Times Roll"
"It's All Over But the Shouting"
2017 "Lucky Penny" George Salisbury
"Style (Is a Losing Game)" Sean Dejecacion
2018 "On the Lips" George Salisbury


  • Independent Music Awards 2012: Signs & Signifiers – Best Rock/Hard Rock Album[25]


  1. ^ Collar, Matt. "JD McPherson: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
  2. ^ a b "JD McPherson: When A Punk Goes Vintage". NPR. May 18, 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
  3. ^ a b c Lang, George (May 18, 2012). "Oklahoman JD McPherson shows 'Signs' of success". The Oklahoman. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  4. ^ a b c Orr, Gillian (May 12, 2012). "Observations: Rockabilly revivalist brings it on home from the Northside". The Independent. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  5. ^ "A Roots And Rockabilly Holiday Concert With JD McPherson And His Band". NPR Fresh Air. December 24, 2019. Retrieved December 24, 2019.
  6. ^ "JD McPherson". Hi-STYLE Records. Hi-STYLE Records. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  7. ^ "StreetStyled: Talking with JD McPherson". YouTube. StreetStyled.com. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  8. ^ Schlansky, Evan (April 30, 2012). "JD McPherson". American Songwriter. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  9. ^ a b "JD McPherson :: Interview". Libel Music. 26 February 2016. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  10. ^ "A Roots And Rockabilly Holiday Concert With JD McPherson And His Band". NPR Fresh Air. December 24, 2019. Retrieved December 24, 2019.
  11. ^ "KFOG Private Concert: JD McPherson - Full Concert". YouTube. Cumulus Digital - SF. 24 October 2017. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  12. ^ Doyle, Patrick (November 19, 2012). "JD McPherson: Signs & Signifiers". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 27, 2012.
  13. ^ Ferguson, Neil (January 22, 2016). "The Cactus Blossoms Talk New Album, Brotherly Harmonies, And JD McPherson (INTERVIEW)". glidemagazine.com. Retrieved 2022-02-15.
  14. ^ "The sonics of Rock 'n Roll – JD McPherson in session on The Inside Sleeve". Radio National. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 19 February 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  15. ^ ""Crazy Horse" Music Video – JD McPherson – The Mr. Peabody & Sherman Show". YouTube. 25 December 2015. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  16. ^ a b "JD McPherson Album & Song Chart History – Rock Albums". Billboard. Archived from the original on May 9, 2018. Retrieved October 17, 2017.
  17. ^ a b "JD McPherson Album & Song Chart History – Billboard 200". Billboard. Archived from the original on May 9, 2018. Retrieved October 17, 2017.
  18. ^ a b "JD McPherson Album & Song Chart History – Heatseekers Albums". Billboard. Archived from the original on May 9, 2018. Retrieved October 17, 2017.
  19. ^ "Heatseekers Albums". Billboard. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  20. ^ Steffen Hung (2012-06-18). "JD McPherson feat. Jimmy Sutton and Alex Hall – Your Love (All That I'm Missing)". uk-charts.com. Retrieved 2015-06-26.
  21. ^ "JD McPherson's Top 10 Post-50s Rockabilly Albums – Features". CMJ. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
  22. ^ "Socks – JD McPherson – Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  23. ^ Jon Blistein (November 28, 2012). "JD McPherson Swings Into the Holidays With 'Twinkle (Little Christmas Lights)'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 22 February 2016.
  24. ^ "JD McPherson's The Warm Covers Digital EP out today on Rounder Records". Red Light Management. Retrieved 9 July 2017.
  25. ^ "11th Annual Independent Music Awards Winners Announced!". Independentmusicawards.com. Retrieved 2015-06-26.

External links[edit]