Greg Parker
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Greg Parker

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


Because Parker's swagger on his debut EP, On The Break, is so utterly convincing, I had to check to make sure he wrote all those gosh darn songs all by his lonesome. And, in fact, he did. Well, except for the outstandingly brash "Get In Line Caroline", which he co-authored with his cohort Adam Hill. And though the influence of Roger Miller and Hank Williams is crystal clear on songs like "Molly Dear", what ultimately sets Parker apart is the sense of ownership he exudes over his music. These aren't just conventional, rehashed country hits. Rather, Parker takes what made Music City USA so great back in the day and modernizes it in a fully meaningful way. Now, go on, git out of here, and git yourself some Parker-style integrity. - selloutmag.com


As someone who despises modern country, but adores the ‘40s and ’50s stuff, I have some time for Knoxville, TN’s Mr. Parker. He’s got no Stetson, and he doesn’t dress the part either—in fact, with his upturned quaff, he looks a lot like a young Morrissey in the Smiths days—but there’s no mistaking his homespun, old-style country heart. “You think you broke my will/You broke my heart/That’s just a start/So get in line Caroline/I’m going to show you how it feels/Wasting time on a love that isn’t real” is the kind of sweet, saddened, knowing lyric sung with a breaking croon that is full and slightly twangy but never corny and always quite persuasive—in fact, he blows away Tritt, McGraw, Keith, Hill, Brooks, Twain, Tucker, Black, and all their miserable ilk, with just his vibrant voice alone. His delectable songs are simple, like my favorite George Jones tunes, but the guitars ring and pick perfectly like a Buck Owens ditty (“Disaster Waiting to Happen”) and “A Heart Is A Terrible Thing To Break” could be a Patsy Cline, early Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, or Hank Williams song. And just to show he can, the closing “Kathleen” is more of a honky tonk C&W blues-country stomp. I didn’t expect to like this, and you might not either. We’ll both be surprised then. - Big Takeover


Greg Parker woos all the ladies on his EP “On the Break” as he croons, essentially as a one-man band, to songs that have that vintage, early rock n roll sound, when it was closer to its country roots. Full of feeling, Parker retains the traditional air of innocence as he sings about respectable things, such as breaking hearts. Slowly shimmering guitar chords complete the authentic 50s feel of “Get In Line Caroline.” The tapping, up- tempo rhythm of “Disaster Waiting To Happen” is accented by harmonica while there is an understated guitar solo on the slow to mid tempo country rock saunter “A Heart Is A Terrible Thing To Break.” “Molly Dear” is a gentle acoustic song that makes you listen closer before the upbeat, up-tempo rockabilly of “Kathleen.” Parker’s likable sound might not be completely unique, but it is a refreshing change of pace. His straightforward delivery with the solid instrumentation sounds refined, not overdone. Parker shows a promising future with his “On The Break” EP. - Plug In Music


When someone pointed me in the direction of Greg Parker's music my first response was "Wow! Where's he been hiding?" At first glance his youthfulness can be deceiving and one can't help but wonder just how deep the sentiments in his song-writing will venture below the surface - but there's no need to worry, 'On The Break' clearly rings with an emotive and honest humanness that's always made country music universally relevant. In a business where jadedness and cynicism often creeps in wordlessly, Parker's passion for his music is refreshing and infectious. He has the looks of a heartbreaker and the soul of a songwriter. The vocals are effortless, the inflections expressive, youthful and energy driven and the music admirably uncluttered. The five song EP is a noteworthy introduction to a talent that's on the brink. 'On The Break' proves that indeed good things come in small packages. This one's wrapped up tidily with ample personality, attitude and heartache. Greg Parker stands on the verge of many good things and with just the right breaks coming his way he'll make an impact that you likely soon won't forget. - takecountryback.com


With modern country becoming nearly indistinguishable from bad pop rock, it's refreshing when someone like Greg Parker comes along. Blessed with a rich, tremulous twang, Parker's musical sensibilities are rooted firmly in vintage country with an electric twist. It's like hearing Hank Williams or the Statler Brothers play the House of Blues -- not a bad way to spend a night. On the Break pays homage to the delightfully dark edges that made old school country such a wonderful way to celebrate the underbelly of life, love and whiskey-tainted heartbreak. Parker matches the dreamy honky-tonk come-on of "Get in Line Caroline" with a warbled, heart-on-the-sleeve ballad like "Molly Dear," leaving just enough doubt as to which approach is more authentically Greg Parker -- if either. He allows himself a flash of forlorn ego in "Caroline" ("There's plenty of girls who wanna do me right") while rollicking through a blissful ode to destructive love in "Disaster Waiting to Happen." "A Heart Is a Terrible Thing to Break"'s sassy breakdown is worthy of a tip of the hat and a scoot of the boot. And here's a bonus: Because the disc clocks in at just under fifteen minutes, it makes for almost compulsive use of your disc player's "repeat" button. More, please. - Splendid


Young, handsome, of clear voice and possessed with a sense of country and pop history beyond the scope of a lad of his age, Parker is positioned to be the next somebody, or the first him. - Roctober


Sometimes great things come in small doses, and that's the case with Nashvillian Greg Parker's EP On The Break (Whitewall). Though he only does five songs, none of them as long as four minutes, Parker's spirit, verve, and energy turns each one into a memorable, joyous statement. "Get In Line Caroline" has the kind of spunk and fire similar to '50s rockabilly, while "Disaster Waiting To Happen" and "A Heart Is A Terrible Thing To Break" are riveting heartache and pain numbers, songs you normally only hear these days on classic country stations or specialty shows. Parker not only did most of the writing and all the vocals, he also produced and arranged everything except for some nice electric guitar lines provided on "A Heart Is A Terrible Thing To Break" by Adam Hill. Though he recorded and mixed it in his home studio, the sonic quality is more than acceptable. However, it's the performances that make this EP a highlight. On The Break deserves support and attention from everyone claiming to enjoy undiluted country. - Nashville City Paper


If I had to sum up Greg Parker's debut EP On The Break in one word or less, it would be sincere. Parker's country twang makes it quite clear that he grew up on good ole Country & Western, but he's not retro. He's got a style that will remind you why Dwight Yoakam's early records are really undervalued by today's 'hip' scene. Throw in a little bit o' Hank Senior, and you'll pretty much have an understanding of where he's coming from. The songs are mellow but not lazy, his voice is twangy but not annoying, and his band is swinging. "Get In Line Caroline" and "A Heart Is A Terrible Thing To Break" are really good slower dance numbers, too. He's got a strong yet sensitive singing voice, which makes these sad-eyed songs even better. When he rocks out on "Disaster Waiting To Happen" and "Kathleen," he's fabulous, and he proves his music isn't caught in some retro country act. On The Break is just a fun country gem from a talent who will most likely deliver a really great debut album, but as it stands, this EP is a really great record on its own, which makes me think that the debut album's gonna be a cinch--and probably a hit! - Mundane Sounds


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.

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

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.