Levi Parham
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Levi Parham

Band Blues Singer/Songwriter

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"Levi Parham has more than blues genes."

By Joe Mack

Living in Eastern Oklahoma can open up doors for folks who have spent the majority of their lives walking smack dab into the wall. Geographically, the region holds a sort of special key to those doors, which lead into an endless resource of history, inspiration and creativity. There are a few young people who understand that tapping this resource is essential to the preservation of music and through preserving music history, they can win the hearts of many, perform timeless traditional tunes and in Levi Parham’s case, not suck.
The remarkably talented Parham didn’t necessarily come into a musically inclined family. Not to say that music wasn’t a part of the McAlester native’s early years. Rather than wrapping growing hands around instruments, the Parham household focused more on the radio and a collection of vinyl, which in turn shaped Levi into the astounding performer and deliberate songwriter he is today.
His dad lives the Blues and showed his son how to embrace every unique flavor of the genre, from New Orleans style to the deeper Mississippi Delta to the rockin’ roadhouses of Texas. The sounds of Leadbelly, Muddy Waters, Lightning Hopkins and Champion Jack Dupree were absorbed by the young Levi both actively and subliminally.
At age 11, Parham actively showed interest in music enough to land himself on a piano bench, where he sat every week (though not all day) for nearly two years. Not able to withstand the urge to play the music his father bathed him in, a 13 year old Levi grabbed up a Harmony six-string electric guitar and Guerilla practice amp combo and instantly found his fingers navigating around various Van Morrison and MXPX tunes.
“I was also pretty lucky to learn rhythm with a drummer right when I first started to play (guitar),” said Parham. Another musician famous around the McAlester area, Lee McWaters, shared Blues theory with the young guitarist, solidifying the sacred sound that would climb above and beyond the veteran’s expectations.
After years of exploring the guitar and where it could take him in Oklahoma, Parham packed his bags and started looking for some ocean front property in Arizona. Though he was unsuccessful at finding any extraordinary body of water, he found the rewards of education at the Arizona Conservatory of the Recording Arts in the collegiate haven of Tempe. But knowledge wasn’t the only baggage he’d claim in the Grand Canyon state.
“I was playing a lot of solo gigs with The Spirit Merchants and they’d notice how much my legs kind of just flail around when I’m totally lost in the music, especially when I’m sitting down and playing. Later on in their set, they’d give a big shout out to ‘Crazy Legs’ Levi, and the nickname has been with me ever since.”
The “Crazy Legs” moniker has been appearing on concert flyers for Parham’s solo shows in Oklahoma, though his latest endeavor has him billed alongside David Kay, Mark Landry and Andrew Winslow in the tentatively named SuperGroup. Luckily, the quartet is far more creative than their name alludes. “Those guys are all phenomenal musicians,” commented Levi, “It’s pretty obvious why we have so much fun and play so well together.”
Parham has also been playing well with another talented Oklahoman, renowned songwriter Bill Erickson. “When I met Levi at the Woody Guthrie tribute at the Blue Door in Oklahoma City, I knew he was made of gold from his heart to his hands. He grew up around music, grew up right and has the humility to go along way with his music.” The songs Levi crafts command gold records, beautifully blending the early influence of Blues cats like Robert Johnson and harnessing the more recent efforts of Jack White of The White Stripes and The Raconteurs fame.
Appropriately, the 22 year old resembles one of the golden children – blonde hair, rounded face, bright smile and enough enthusiasm and swagger to raise the temperature in any room saturated with single (and not so single) ladies. One could even draw comparisons to John Mayer - especially the post-Pop John Mayer whose focus shifted from superficial sorority stardom to shredding Stratocasters in stadiums in the spirit of Stevie Ray Vaughn.
So Green Country, open your eyes and realize that this Levi is THE guy emerging into our ever-evolving music scene and you can catch his “Crazy Legs” on Saturday, Dec. 16, at Max’s Garage in Muskogee supporting Texas Swing titan Junior Brown. Computer-savvy Currentlandians can check out the young performer at myspace.com/leviparham for tour dates, audio and visual confirmation that Parham is back home in Green Country to make some sweet, sweet sounds.
-Joe Mack
www.currentland.com

- The Current


Discography

Currently working on first album.

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Levi Parham is a widely creative songwriter. With his melodies, he demands the listener's attention and leaves you humming the tune an hour later.
His live shows are high energy. Stomping his feet and belting out at the top of his lungs, Levi sounds like much more than one man on stage.
Levi plays a variety of instruments live, and plays all the instruments on his recordings. Currently booking gigs coast to coast, contact Levi Parham at Levi_parham@yahoo.com to book a show, and be on the look out for Levi Parham heading your way!