Greg Parker

Greg Parker

BandAmericanaCountry

By incorporating many disparate elements of American music into his sound, Greg Parker has brought a new 21st century vitality to the traditional heart-on-the-sleeve brand of country music, and it is winning him fans of all ages from all walks of life.

Biography

Musically speaking, Greg Parker’s style has been most accurately described as “honky-tonk power pop,” “Maximum C&W,” and “21st century countrypolitan.” Any of these catch phrases would aptly describe his debut five song EP, On The Break, released March 2, 2004 on Whitewall Records. The first single, “Get In Line Caroline,” an impassioned kiss-off disguised as a bouncy pop gem, is an excellent starting-point for getting a handle on the Parker sound. Pounding bluegrass, sublime balladry, and raw garage rock are also contained on this effort.

By all accounts, On The Break has established Parker as one of the most compelling, talented, and endearing new artists to come out of the Americana genre in years. Ron Wynn of the Nashville City Paper concluded his glowing review of the disc by saying that it “deserves support and attention from everyone claiming to enjoy undiluted country.”

Undiluted country it may be, but its contemporary sophistication in many ways enables it to transcend the limitations of such a genre. Parker sings and writes in a timeless language that makes as much sense in 2004 as it would have in 1950 and will in 2050. He dresses like he’s got the hottest and hippest date in the world (complete with trademark two-tone wingtips). His melodies and his singing voice belie both a rural and a cosmopolitan background.

He’s the rare kind of artist who can go to the Echo Lounge in Atlanta and play on a bill with Jon Langford and The High Strung one night, then go to Birmingham and play with a jazz singer the next night, and receive equally generous amounts of adoration from both audiences. By incorporating many disparate elements of American music into his sound, and singing and writing from the very depths of his soul, Greg Parker has brought a new 21st century vitality to the traditional heart-on-the-sleeve brand of country music, and it is winning him fans of all ages from all walks of life.

Greg Parker was born in Hyden, Leslie County, Kentucky to a coal miner’s daughter and the son of a preacher man. Greg and his family moved to Knoxville, Tennessee when Greg was four years old. He transferred to Cornell University in 2000 as an English major and packed up his Oldsmobile in August for a two-year stint. Writing classic country songs during his last months in Knoxville signaled a new direction that began to crystallize during his two years in Ithaca. The cutting emotionalism, the keen pop sensibility, the trademark wit, the voice that is simultaneously fragile and tearing—all began to take form during this time.

After graduating from Cornell, Greg moved to Nashville. There his songwriting in the last two years has become even more varied, jumping from garage rock to classic pop to soul to bluegrass to rockabilly and back to honky-tonk. Greg has played with his backing band at several local venues, including the Springwater, the Radio Café, the Sutler, and the 5 Spot. He has also played several writers nights and showcases in Nashville at the Exit In (on Billy Block's Western Beat), Mercy Lounge, Shortsets, Broken Spoke, and Café 123. Additionally, Greg is a member of the Americana Music Association, as well as The Alt-Country Hoedown, a showcase held the last Saturday of each month at The End. He is currently booking shows in support of On The Break and is working on new songs for a full-length record scheduled for release this fall.

Discography

On The Break EP, 2004, Whitewall Records. All five tracks have received airplay at one time or another, both domestically and in Europe, primarily on college radio and specialty shows. The most often played song has been the song we pitched as a single, "Get In Line Caroline." The record is available on all major online retailers and in mp3 format on most major music downloading sites.

Set List

The typical 30-60 minute set list is either all originals or 90% originals. If the show is 2-3 sets then the sets are typically comprised of about 75% originals/25% covers. Hank Williams, Roger Miller, Cole Porter, Lou Reed, Marty Robbins, Nick Lowe, Jimmy Reed, and Ray Price are just a sampling of the artists whose songs have appeared in a Greg Parker set. The set list is very flexible and can be adjusted according to the venue and its audience (country, Americana, traditional pop, rock, etc.).