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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Showing posts with label Peter Parcek. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Peter Parcek. Show all posts

Friday, October 9, 2020

Peter Parcek - Mississippi Suitcase - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Mississippi Suitcase, from Peter Parcek and it may be his best yet. Opening with The World Is Upside Down, Peter Parcek opens his grittiest and rockinist release, with a driving rhythm and blazing guitar. With a rock modified blues track, Parcek has lead vocal and guitar, backed by Tim Carman on drums, Tom West on keys, and Marc Hickox on bass. Really solid.  With it's march style snare drum rhythm, Everybody Oughta Make A Change has a cool, relaxed blues feel. Parcek's vocals and lead guitar seem to float over the tight drum pattern giving the track a different kind of feel. Very nice. Bob Dylan's, Beyond Here Lies Nothing, has an interesting, easy Latin feel, reminding me of early Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac Blues band with nice slide work and phrasing by Parcek. Followed by The Supernatural, a strong Peter Green composition, Parcek really works the fretboard over with a strong guitar lead composition. Excellent! Mississippi Suitcase, (Slight Return) is a super blues rocker with formidable guitar riffs, a cool organ solo by West, a strong bass line and snappy drums. Parcek's vocals are meaty and the track has guts. Very nice. Slower blues shuffle, Until My Love Come Down, has a real nice pace with soulful organ work by West and with a nice guitar guitar exchange between Parcek and Ted Drozdowski. She Likes To Boogie Real Slow has a cool loping rhythm and Parcek and West trade riffs making the track a real head bobber. Wrapping the release is an interesting instrumental, A Head Full of Ghosts, which I really like. With Carman on drums, primarily on tom toms, a nice stream of keys by West, Hickox on bass and beautifully articulated lead guitar by Parcek, the release leaves you wanting more. Very nice. 

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Friday, March 30, 2018

For The Sake Of Song artist: Patrick Coman - Tree Of Life - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Tree Of Life, from Patrick Coman and I really like it! Opening with Heartbeat, a rangy, bluesy, somber song Patrick Coman, singer/songwriter/guitarist sets a certain mood. Joined by Peter Parcek on lead guitar, Marco Giovino on drums, Tom West on keys and Joe Klompus on bass, a great opener. Good advice on stripped down rocker, Don't Reach, Coman blends early British, punk, rock, folk and a lot of other sounds to get this really cool sound. A loose but fluid guitar solo by Parcek kicks the track nicely. With a twist of cha cha and a real nice bari guitar solo and cool female vocal harmonies by Abbie Barrett and Kylie Harris. The Judge has a real Johnny Cash spank. Coman's vocals are loose and cool and Parcek's guitar work is perfect. Super! Another track with a cool country rock twang is 9-5ers with a real country style guitar solo and drums ... and get this...tuba (nice job Neal Pawley). One of my favorite tracks on the release is title track, Tree of Life with an underlying country flavor, surreal guitar sounds and nice tom tom style. Excellent! Another cool rocker, Chelsea Street has just the right rock vibe with a solid guitar riff, strong vocals and prominent snare beat up front. This is a great track. An interesting interpretation of Leon Russell's, Magic Mirror with a monotone vocal line is surprisingly refreshing. Changing the melody pretty much in entirety is really a bold move and quite successful with glistening guitar soloing crowning this work. Excellent! Keep My Soul is another strong track with what I can only call lazy vocals which are really effective. Parcek's guitar work does a lot to give the track just the right cohesion and Pawley, Klompus and Giovino are spotless. Wrapping the release is a folksy kind of track, Let It Ring. Basically Coman on vocal and acoustic guitar with basic keyboard backing this spartan track is an excellent closer for an excellent release! 

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Monday, January 8, 2018

Singer/Songwriter Patrick Coman Reflects on the "Tree of Life" with New CD of Blues-Roots Music Coming February 23, Featuring Peter Parcek and Marco Giovino

Singer/Songwriter Patrick Coman Reflects on the Tree of Life with New CD of Blues-Roots Music Coming February 23,

Featuring Peter Parcek and Marco Giovino

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – Roots-based singer/songwriter Patrick Coman announces a February 23 release date for his new CD, Tree of Life, on his For the Sake of the Song label imprint. Produced by acclaimed guitarist Peter Parcek and drummer Marco Giovino (Robert Plant, Buddy Miller), who both also play on the new disc, Tree of Life was recorded at Dagotown Recorders in Holden, Mass., and features 11 original songs penned by Coman, plus a cool cover of Leon Russell’s “Magic Mirror.”

Watch a live video in the studio during the recording of the title track, “Tree of Life:” 

In addition to Patrick Coman on vocals and rhythm guitar, plus Peter Parcek on lead guitar and Marco Giovino on drums, percussion and organ, the talented group of players assembled for the recording sessions included Joe Klompus (Letters to Cleo) - upright and electric bass; Neal Pawley - tuba, trombone, lap steel, baritone guitar, guitar and electric mandolin; “Beehive Queen” Christine Ohlman - vocals (who lends her unmistakable grit to the spirited duet, “Don’t Reach”); Kylie Harris and Abbie Barrett - background vocals; and Tom West  (Peter Wolf, Susan Tedeschi) – keys, organ and accordion.

A long-time Boston musician and radio personality before recently locating to Charlottesville, Virginia, Coman was very familiar with both Peter Parcek and Marco Giovino. “Getting to play with Peter over the past few years has been like going to school,” states Coman. “From him I’ve learned so much about playing the blues, but perhaps more importantly I’ve learned what it means to be a working musician and a bandleader and to create music with power, substance and integrity.

“Even though a lot of the songs are pretty heavy, we had so much fun during the recording process. Marco has this great studio out in rural Massachusetts that feels like a little clubhouse or what you’d imagine The Band had in mind with Big Pink. It was a place where we felt comfortable letting our imaginations run wild and really creating a sonic landscape for each song. No idea was too crazy for us to try and I think that type of freedom gave us the ambition to strive for something great.”

Nearly all of the material on the new CD was written in the months leading up to and directly following the birth of Coman’s first child. With a new baby in the house, songs were pieced together late at night or early in the morning in that mystical twilight period where dreams and reality blur. This cosmic bridge is reflected in the album’s title and sequence, where haunting opener “Heartbeat” beckons the listener into this eerie dreamlike landscape, before galloping across a fun house mirror version of Americana that reflects back in ways that seem both familiar and strange. It’s clear that Patrick Coman’s Tree of Life has many musical branches.

“The ‘Tree of Life’ comes up in most religions around the world, often as a bridge between heaven and earth or between life and death,” says Coman. “In the last few months before my daughter was born I began to think about her time in the womb in the same way and how this symbol echoed my own transition between my previous life and the one I knew I would step into on the day she was born.”

Coman’s musical foundation was formed at an early age from his upbringing in Oklahoma. “Like many Oklahomans, I grew up revering Woody Guthrie and his affinity for the working class,” he recalls. “Today it is eerie to see how his Dust Bowl-era themes are just as relevant as ever. Although my sound is different, I like to think that Woody would appreciate songs like ‘Trouble #2’ and ‘The Judge.’ He was the master of boiling down an injustice to the point where anyone could understand it and while it doesn’t get mentioned as much, his combination of folk, blues, and hillbilly music paved the way for those of us who work in the cracks between genres.”

In an era where volume dictates attention, Patrick Coman pulls his audience in with a quiet, unshakable confidence. It’s a confidence built from a decade behind the scenes with some of the generation’s best songwriters as a booking agent, sound engineer, and DJ/producer for premier Americana station WUMB-FM in Boston, before stepping into the spotlight with his debut full- length album, Tree of Life.

Turning his back on a career in the music business to spend his time as a stay-at-home father by day and full-time musician by night has paid dividends for Coman as a writer and performer. Over the past year he’s opened for a crop of revered Americana artists like Del McCoury, Robbie Fulks, Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams, Joan Osborne and John Fullbright, while veteran musicians like Parcek and Giovino have taken him under their wing.

Coman’s own vocals bear the laidback blues-inflected style of fellow Tulsa, Oklahoma,  natives JJ Cale and Leon Russell, while the protagonists in “The Judge” and “Trouble #2” bring to mind  Woody Guthrie. The album also stirs in touches of Lou Reed’s street walkin’ strut, the swampy groove of Little Feat, and darkly humorous rockabilly rave ups that swing like demented versions of Sun Studio classics.

“Being a songwriter means grappling with your inner demons in an incredibly public way,” Coman summarizes. “That’s something that I have always been afraid of and so I’ve often avoided writing about myself. One amazing thing about being a parent is that it forces you to be honest with yourself. Digging into my fears and doubts in songs like ‘Keep My Soul,’ ‘Tree of Life’ or even ‘Heartbeat’ was painful at the time, but now when I perform them it feels so cathartic to share those emotions with other people and I’m always amazed because those tend to be the favorite songs when people come up after the show.”

Patrick Coman Tour Dates

2/16 – Me & Thee Coffeehouse (Marblehead, MA) *Tribute to John Prine

2/17 – The Burren (Somerville, MA) 

2/23 – Tellus360 (Lancaster, PA)

2/24 & 25 – Purple Fiddle (Thomas, WV)

3/2 – The Southgate House Revival (Newport, KY – Cincinnati area)

3/14 – Awendaw Green (Awendaw, SC – near Charleston, SC)

3/17 – WDVX’s Blue Plate Special (live radio show in Knoxville, TN)

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Lightnin' Records artist: Peter Parcek - Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven, by Peter Parcek and it's quite good. Opening with Peter Green's, World Keep On Turning, Parcek presents a dark, drum heavy track with flashy guitar. Solid blues rocker. On Blind Lemon Jefferson's, See That My Grave Is Kept Clean, Parcek's guitar chords are shimmery and haunting, his vocal interpretation is excellent and his solo guitar work is eerie. I've heard this track done numerous times by modern players but none as well as this. Very nice. Instrumental, Pat Hare has a country blues flair with modified chicken pickin' and cool harp work from Mickey Raphael. Ashes To Ashes is a really nice contemporary number with strong, ancient bone from Lil' Son Jones with slashing slide work and cool harp work from Raphael. Shiver has a cool mid century surf rock beat lead by Parcek's guitar and reinforced by Marco Giovino on drums. Andy Sanfospago lays in some real tasty lap steel guitar riffs paired with Parcek's own lead work creating a real cool track. Don Nix's Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven is a great track with solid blues treatment. A great 12 bar sound with reverb, slide, pedal steel leading up to an excellent blues guitar solo and great vocals make this one of my favorites on the release. Wrapping the release is Jennie Mae Clayton's shuffle track, Aunt Caroline Dyer Blues. Playing it in a traditional manner with Deanie Richardson and Jeremy Van Cleave on violin, Russ Pahl on mouth harp and Dennis Crouch on standup bass this track has a real rural feel. A solid closer for a strong release.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Beyond Here Lies Nothing - Peter Parcek (and Free Download)

Peter Parcek’s daring, incendiary and soulful style is a distinctive hybrid. He weaves rock, gypsy-jazz, country, folk, and blues-- especially blues-- into a tapestry of melody, harmony and daredevil solos that push those styles to their limits without sacrificing the warmth of his own personality.

Peter calls his approach "soul guitar," an appellation that alludes to his playing’s depth of feeling and character, as well as its deepest roots in classic American music. But Peter’s sensibilities are equally attuned to the future.

Peter’s journey as a musician began when the Vietnam War erupted and he graduated high school. With the blessings of his mother and the help of a family friend, he relocated to London, England, and found himself in the thick of the British blues explosion.

"I got real lucky," he recounts. "Whenever I could afford it or sneak in, I could see Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Peter Green in clubs, as well as many other great guitarists who were on the scene, but never made it big.

Daunted by the six-string virtuosity on display all around him, Peter put down his guitar to sing and blow harmonica and joined a band, playing rooms like the famed Marquee Club — one night on a bill with the Pink Floyd. But fate intervened. He was returned to the States for lack of a British work permit.

Once back in Middletown, CT, Peter began witnessing great American blues artists in concert: Skip James, Muddy Waters, Albert King, Jimi Hendrix, B.B. King, Albert Collins, Buddy Guy. "I would sit as close as possible so I could see exactly what they were doing on the guitar," he says. "It was an amazing education."

Decades later, he would receive a superlative from Guy. "I met some people who knew Buddy and took me to his dressing room after a show," Peter says. "I felt a little out of place, because I didn’t really know anybody. So out of nervousness, I guess, I just absent mindedly picked up one of Buddy’s guitars, unplugged, and started playing. After a while I realized the room was quiet and I looked up, and Buddy was watching me with his finger pressed to his lips for silence.

"You’re as bad as Eric Clapton," Guy remarked. "And I know Eric Clapton."

Peter, who is remarkably modest about his virtuosity, says he didn’t get serious about his instrument until he moved to Massachusetts. "That’s when I developed from a guitar owner to a guitar player, by practicing eight to 10 hours a day," he explains.

Between jobs as a school counselor and instrument salesman, Peter joined his first serious band, Boston’s Nine Below Zero. Their visceral take on classic and original blues won them regional acclaim and led to Peter playing on recordings for the piano legend Pinetop Perkins and a stint as Perkins’ touring bandleader.

"It was an amazing time," Peter relates, "and it inspired me to take the reins of my own music and form a band."

"What I try to bring to any music I play, but especially to blues, is something I learned from Skip James when I saw him perform at Wesleyan University in the ’60s," says Peter. "He played beautifully, with real elegance, and conducted himself in a gentlemanly manner. But people kept talking, so at one point he stopped playing and announced, ‘Mr. Skip would appreciate it if you would stop perambulating when he is expressing.’ And then he left until things quieted down.

"That made something click in me. Skip showed me that it was right to play blues with dignity and style, and to express and conduct yourself as an artist. He obviously put his entire soul into what he was doing on a lot of levels. And that’s what I try to do whenever I pick up a guitar."
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