I have one simple question, what the hell are they putting in the water over in Oklahoma lately. First John Fullbright and John Moreland and now Parker Millsap. While the music history of that state goes back generations, this latest crop of songwriters are really getting my and everyone else’s attention. The 20 year old (yes I said 20) Millsap released his self titled record in February, amidst a tour opening for Old Crow Medicine Show in places such as the legendary Ryman Auditorium.
The sound on the album draws from a myriad of traditional American musical styles. There is a little country and a little blues, mixed in with a story telling folk feeling. The backbone of all the songs is Millsap’s ability to write songs that are exceedingly convincing, although he still a very young man. Millsap takes over his characters much in the way that a talented method actor becomes his role. The over zealous killer in “Old Time Religion” allows Parker to sing from a place of evil steeped in a misguided understanding of the Old Testament.
On my favorite track of the album, “Truck Stop Gospel”, Parker becomes the traveling roadside evangelist that is portrayed in the song. He sings out that only wants you to “love my savior” over a whining country fiddle and driving guitar and drum part. The song “At the Bar” has our hero sitting a bar singing to the characters of the Wizard of Oz, explaining his obsession for sad songs and waltzes, while searching for answers from them.
Much has and will be made of this up and coming songsmith, and it all of it is well deserved. At such a young age, Parker Millsap has released a damn fine album that will hold up against the test of time. It is a record full of maturity and execution that would be impressive coming from a veteran songwriter, let alone someone making only his second recording. I would highly suggest picking up a copy of this one immediately, and I am personally hoping to catch what I can imagine is a very spirited live show from Parker Millsap in the near future.
Buy Parker’s record from Amazon by following this link:Parker Millsap