PAMELITA AND PARKER
The reputations of Jerry Chamberlain and Pam Mark Hall precede them: Chamberlain is a guitar hero known for pushing the boundaries of rock and melodic pop in the California bands Daniel Amos (DA) and the Swirling Eddies; PMH is a critically acclaimed singer-songwriter whose probing lyrics and adventurous arrangements situated her at the forefront of thought-provoking, genre-defying folk-pop music.
Now these two celebrated veterans, in a surprising yet highly anticipated venture, combine their talents as Pamelita and Parker. The clever name (her nickname, his middle name) diverts from their pasts as both consider this new duo to be a new identity. “Maybe we’re crazy,” states PMH, “because while many folks our age are eager to retire, we’re inspired to start all over again, drawing from our broad-life and musical resources and experiences."
The duo’s distinctive sound is a spicy and flavorful blend of original songs and baby-boomer nostalgia - incorporating a mix of acoustic bluesy folk tunes; simple or complex muscular chords; laying a foundation for soulful and brainy pop-rock melodies. “Boomer” is spoken here. “We call it ‘big kitchen music,’” PMH says with a laugh. “Because love needs a 'big kitchen' as a gathering place for friends from diverse backgrounds to share histories and cultures - like mixing a savory combination of flavors for new renditions of comfort food. That’s what Pamelita and Parker is about—combining our eclectic lives and musical backgrounds for something welcoming, unique, flavorful and satisfying that continues to speak to the interests and concerns of our generation."
Chamberlain and Mark Hall first crossed paths over thirty years ago, when both native Californians were fledgling artists in the pioneering first steps of "Jesus Music," when it was a counterculture movement created by so-called hippies and Jesus freaks. They emerged with the youth culture of the day, as social issues and folk and rock ‘n’ roll began to grow up into progressive acts. To that they added an idealism and spiritual search that separated it from the folk/rock’s more hedonistic pursuits.
Back then, Pam Mark Hall was a singer-songwriter who, like Joni Mitchell, experimented with atmospheric arrangements of reflective and challenging songs that drew on jazz, classical and rock as well as acoustic folk music. Chamberlain, as a founder of the groundbreaking Daniel Amos (DA) and the Swirling Eddies, found brightly audacious ways to put his mark on country-rock, Beatle-like pop explorations, and clever, progressive rock. His exceptional, inventive guitar work made him a hero to critics, music geeks and anyone who loved hearing a distinct, stylized approach to playing guitar.
Chamberlain recalls “I’ve traced our meeting back to PMH opening as a solo act for us in 1976 at Citrus College in Southern California. We were both young and full of fire and innocence and wanting to change the world, and I remember how impressed I was with her talent.” “And I was impressed by his unique ability to play scorching, rocking, yet tasteful guitar phrases that enhanced rather than steam-rolled a song,” declares PMH.
PMH relocated from the West Coast in the 1980s, when her resonant voice, insightful, and compassionate lyrics were sought after by the burgeoning, contemporary Christian music community setting up shop in Nashville.
The renowned singer-songwriter with a string of highly industry-acclaimed albums, and numerous songs recorded by well-known pop artists like Amy Grant and Debby Boone, PMH left the faith-based music business in the late ‘80s. Her failed marriage and divorce forced her to find a different livelihood, because in the ‘80s, divorce was the death knell for CCM women artists. She survived by cleaning and painting houses, working for non-profit organizations, before getting into marketing/sales for business publications.
Chamberlain arrived in Nashville in the early '90s, recording with drummer Ken Coomer (from Wilco and Uncle Tupelo) and Doug Powell of Swag (which included Coomer and members of Cheap Trick and The Mavericks) for a Jeff Lynne tribute album and forming a successful British-invasion band, the Pickled Beats. A highly sought after guitarist and background vocalist, Chamberlain continued to add the highlights to many of his musician friend’s albums.
“Pam and I hadn’t kept in touch over the years, but during a conversation with a mutual friend, I realized she was living in Nashville too,” Chamberlain says. “We were talking about music, about artists like Wendy Waldman and Bruce Cockburn, and Pam’s name came up, because she had worked with them both, and her songs have the same kind of power. So I found her on MySpace and contacted her.” The two watched the 2008 presidential debates together and realized they not only had similar spiritual and musical backgrounds, but that their social and political leanings were the same. They also shared other loves: California; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Martha’s Vineyard; Hatch green chile; dark chocolate; red wine; books; news; as well as social and political activism. They decided to experiment musically together, and right away something magical happened.
Early in the formation of “Pamelita & Parker,” they are finding great enthusiasm from fans, old and new, who have discovered them on the Internet. “We have a shared audience in part, and we both have fans who didn’t know the other person,” Chamberlain says. “but both Pam’s and my fans are going back and rediscovering the other’s older music as well. Coming together is expanding two circles into one ever-larger circle.”
The duo is making use of new technology as Chamberlain has become a Facebook whiz and PMH recently completed Berklee Music College’s “On-line Music Marketing with Topspin” where she learned how to “utilize the many tools that weren’t available when we were making records before.” Mark Hall notes, “We can reach people now in ways we could never reach before. We don’t have to rely on the narrow channels of radio and big record companies. We’re so excited about connecting with people in these new ways. And we see evidence that a multitude of people 40 and over are hungry to discover old and new music that speaks to them in “Boomer.” The rewards or our investment this time can be more direct, and more encouraging all around. So here we go.”
Pam Mark Hall -
acoustic guitar, keyboards, flute, harmonica, and vocals
Jerry Chamberlain -
acoustic and electric guitars, and vocals
Paler Shade - LP
Man in the Moon - Single
Message from the Country - Single
"Paler Shade" ~ One of the Finest Forgotten Recordings of '90s Singer/Songwriter Boom
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"Paler Shade is one the of finest forgotten recordings of '90s singer/songwriter boom. Pam Mark H...
"Paler Shade is one the of finest forgotten recordings of '90s singer/songwriter boom. Pam Mark Hall’s voice possesses the glow of Jewel & strength of Trisha Yearwood - she explores roots-related styles. "Rock Me on the Water" acoustic blues & "Paler Shade of You" world music smorgasbord "
— Dave Sleger, All Music
Things We Said Today
Rock Me On the Water
Paler Shade of You
Man in the Moon
Rich Man, Poor Man
The Doing of It!
Wear Your Love Like Heaven
I Dig Rock and Roll Music
Girl Don't Come
Milk of Amnesia