Pining - Parker Millsap
For our next LCM featured artist we head to California the home of an excellent new singer-songwriter Parker Millsap. At only 23 years of age Parker is already making waves in the music world. Playing a blend of blues, country, alt-country/Americana and folk music, Parker has been named one of Americana Music Association's 'Emerging Artists of the Year' after the release of his self-titled album in 2014. Parker plays guitar with a style that has drawn comparisons to Elvis.He also plays the harmonica, banjo and slide guitar. He reminds us of Paolo Nutini in some of his songs. Our LCM #TrackOfTheDay 'Pining' is one of the very catchy lead tracks from his new album 'The Very Last Day' released back in May this year.
Parker attributes his musical influence to growing up in a Pentecostal Church and listening to blues with his parents.He has opened for Patty Griffin, Old Crow Medicine Show, Shovels & Rope, Lake Street Dive, John Fullbright, Jason Isbell, and Sarah Jarosz.
Parker grew up in the tiny town of Purcell, OK (pop. 5,952) where he attended a Pentecostal church with his family three times a week for most of his youth. Though Parker doesn't consider himself very religious these days, the experiences engraved upon him inform his songwriting. Blending that fire and brimstone preaching with rock, country, blues and Waits-ian imagery, he has created a sound uniquely his own.
Parker first picked up an acoustic guitar at nine, then plugged in and went electric after getting into Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan, eventually starting a cover band, Fever in Blue, with classmate Michael Rose who still plays bass with him today. After graduating high school, he moved to Northern California, where he interned at Prairie Sun Recording, the studio where Tom Waits recorded Bone Machine and Mule Variations. Returning to Oklahoma, he put down the electric guitar and got into songwriting, releasing an indie album in 2012, Palisade, which he sold from the back of his van.
A trip to Nashville found Parker playing at the Tin Pan South songwriter's festival, where his performance impressed Old Crow Medicine Show's manager so much that he invited Parker to open a string of dates for the band, later leading to a slot on their New Year's Eve gig at the Ryman Auditorium.
“I like to set goals for myself that are impossible to reach,” he explains. “That way, I always have something to aim for, a better song, different characters, new stories. I just want to pay the bills and feed my dog, and maybe buy a new guitar every now and then. That’s all I need. I don’t want to be Elvis Presley, but I wouldn’t complain if a million girls screamed for me, either. Just don’t tell my girlfriend that.” Parker Millsap is ready to share his Oklahoma roots with the rest of the country, and, hopefully, the world.