JD McPherson Has The Ugly Sweater Blues

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JD McPherson

An Interview by NPR’s Steven Kallao

Explaining Christmas to someone who’s never heard of it is a strange proposition. As our guest and old friend JD McPherson puts it, there’s a tree in your living room, a strange man’s walking around your house at midnight eating cookies, and then you get clothes.

I imagine it’s an even stranger proposition to write an album of modern Christmas originals. Christmas means so many different things to so many people, and the differences matter: Is your audience children or adults, religious or not? Are they jaded? Feeling humorous? Maybe sentimental? You’ve got a lot of options.

JD McPherson, however, is up for it, even if that means dragging a Christmas tree into a recording studio in May. His 2018 album, Socks, is his take on the most wonderful time of the year, and it’s equal parts earnest, loving, and irreverent. It’s a bit like the NPR World Cafe conversation  — where they talk all things sweaters, socks, and the best Christmas gift he ever received.

Hear the session in the NPR player on this page…


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