Victoria Parks
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Victoria Parks


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The best kept secret in music


"Every Muse News & Reviews, June 2003"

Victoria Parks
Wild English Rose
Wild Mane Music, Columbus, Ohio

I heard the songs on this CD out of sequence: Victoria performed "Song to Ostara" live at a coffeehouse in my hometown of Columbus, Ohio a few weeks before the Vernal Equinox. I went up to her and said, "move over, Loreena McKennitt!" Victoria laughed and suggested that I listen to the whole CD before making such sweeping judgments. So I did, and now my judgment is, "Move over, Loreena McKennitt!"

The cover notes to this CD acknowledge the inspiration of Victoria's ancestors, and that inspiration is clear. Though only four of the 13 selections on this album are explicitly "Pagan"--songs for Samhain, Yule, Ostara, and Beltaine--a Pagan sensibility infuses the entire album, with striking examples of still-very-vibrant family folklore in "Brandy from the Cherry," "Dear Sister," and "Banks of the Kennebec," especially.

Victoria is renowned as a storyteller among those who know her music well, and this album is clearly the work of an experienced and comfortable yarn-spinner, with fascinating tales and beguiling turns of phrase.

I have to say, though, that the musicality of this album is what impresses me most. The vocals are lovely--powerful and controlled with a maturity that hardships of recent years have brought to bear on the artist. This album is proof to me that adversity builds character.
The instrumentation is lush without being in any way overproduced (a common weakness of recordings by folkies who, used to simplicity, tend to go overboard with an embarrassment of riches), and the whole thing is balanced and consummately pleasant. Though there are stories

aplenty to be found on this recording, I usually find myself just losing myself in it, transported by the sound.

"Song for Ostara" remains my favorite cut on this album, though it's hard to pick a favorite. It's eminently singable, at once lilting and strong, as Spring so often is. I think that the "Pagan" songs here are, in general, a bit complex for ritual use, but they are instructive as well as entertaining, among the best out there for educating oneself in the philosophies of the Old Religion for private enjoyment.
I suspect that Ms. McKennit would be pleased to scoot over and be
joined by Ms. Parks.
©2003 Khrysso Heart LeFey
Professor of Liturgical Music
Pagan Institute, Inc.
Minneapolis, MN
in "Every Muse News & Reviews," June 2003
- Khrysso Heart LeFey

""Visiting The Folks" on WJCU-FM, Cleveland, Ohio"

It is indeed a pleasure to announce that airplay copies of Victoria Parks' new album "Wild English Rose" are now available to DJs by request at Victoria was kind enough to send me an advance copy of the album, and I highly recommend it to any and all folk DJs. If you are lucky enough to have Victoria's debut album, "Sure Feels Like Home," she needs no introduction. If not, I hope you'll take this opportunity to discover her. Victoria is a master storyteller and songwriter with a beautiful, powerful voice.
On "Wild English Rose," half of the album is devoted to exploring her family's rich Celtic history in songs that are as vivid, valid and gripping as any material you will find on the immigrant experience. The other half of the album is also traditionally based, with some of the songs revolving around ancient celebrations, such as winter solstice, Samhain (Halloween), & Beltaine (May Day). There's even a song about crop circles. All songs on the album are nicely accompanied by traditional acoustic instrumentation.

Do yourself a favor. Order "Wild English Rose"! I guarantee that many of you
will be visiting this album on a regular basis for many years to come.

Disclaimer: I have no personal interest in any rewards that may come to Victoria as a result of this album, and I have never before endorsed a CD on this list. I do, however, confess to being a huge fan of Victoria as an artist. This is a voice that deserves to be heard!

Fred Dolan
"Visiting The Folks"
Northeast Ohio's best folk mix on Sunday nights from 9 PM to midnight
John Carroll University, University Heights, OH 44118 - Fred Dolan, Host


I'm Blue/It's Never Easy-1986 45 RPM
Sure Feels Like Home - 1995 - Full Length CD of orignals songs
(some tracks were aired on over 100 stations)
Wild English Rose - 2003 - Ful length CD of mostly original songs
(as far as airplay, don't know yet, but I am 1 in 3 for positive interest in stations wanting to receive the CD out of 420 stations, and those were only the ones who replied to my solicitation). I will post my results as I track airplay.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Victoria Parks is a seasoned performing songwriter, specializing in acoustic Anglo-Celtic, neo-traditional, humorous, and contemporary ballads. Her soaring voice ranges from deep and rich to lilting and ethereal. Her powerful, timeless lyrics cross cultures and history. She has a special affinity with folklore and historical subjects and has been writing and performing folk music for the last 30 years. Her writing is very much in keeping with bardic tradition. She will often demonstrate her love of writing in 3/4 and 6/8 time signatures. She is acclaimed for her debut CD Sure Feels Like Home. Her new CD Wild English Rose is a collection of mostly original songs that combine traditional folk stylings with Anglo-Celtic and Pagan traditions. They include songs "spindled with faery dust, flowers, mystery and storytelling." Last year she was a finalist in the 2002 South Florida Folk Festival. In the Spring of 2003, she received Honorable Mention for both of her submissions to the 2002 Madison Songwriter's Group Song Contest in Madison, Wisconsin, one of several songwriting contests in which she has been recognized.
Early influences: Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Ian & Sylvia, Woodie Guthrie
Recent influences: Andy M. Stewart, Gerry O'Beirne, Richard Thompson, Linda Thompson, Simon Nichol, Chris Leslie, Manus Lunny