Album Of The Week: Undivided Heart & Soul By JD McPherson

If I could place a call to JD McPherson regarding his new album, Undivided Heart & Soul, that potentially one-sided conversation would go something like this:

Hey, JD, let’s talk. Actually I’ll talk, you just listen:

There’s something quite fine about the musical ability to deeply beckon the past into the present and wear it well without it looking and feeling like a tired gimmick or an ill-fitting suit. After a week or so of listening to Undivided Heart & Soul at my leisure, it’s impossible to not appreciate this record’s deliciously tense and gritty sonic muscle. It’s all rock n roll and rockabilly flush with vintage bluesy soul: yeah, with a little help from your friends (Josh Homme, Dean Fertita, Lucius, Dan Molad, Butch Walker, etc.), you and the band pulled that off nicely. Hope you sent them all a fruit basket or something. From the onset of “Desperate Love” to the hip shaking “Crying’s Just A Thing You Do” to the gently Motown-lush “Hunting For Sugar”…dude.  The songs feel perched on shelves more personal and curious, more lively and lived in…and now I really want to visit Nashville. It’s true that style is a losing game, but yours is on point and that’s why Undivided Heart & Soul is my Album Of The Week. 

The Regent | Los Angeles, CA | October 14, 2017 | Photo Credit: ZB Images

Of course when JD McPherson came to Los Angeles (currently on tour with Nikki Lane), we were there and it looked like this. Kicking off his set with “Bossy” (from his 2015 album Let The Good Times Roll), Doug Corcoran (guitar), Raynier Jacob Jacildo (keys), Jimmy Sutton (bass), Jason Smay (drums) and McPherson gave the Regent an instant injection of feel good that encouraged feet to move, hands to clap and the occasional couple to break out into bouts of boogie.

Making an appearance and lending her voice to the title track live (just as she did on the album) was Nicole Atkins. Good times, indeed.