Updated on Wed 02 Feb, 2011 | News historyNews
Feb 02, 2011
Feb 02, 2011
Jun 11, 2008
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Gregg Parker / Songster is an acoustic guitarist, singer / songwriter of acoustic folk / rock ballads dealing with life and matters of the heart. His own music is written with passion and honesty, inspired by observations, experiences and powerful emotions.
Why this name?
I've been a "songster" most of my adult life - I just put my name ( or whoever else I'm performing with ) in front of it and I think it pretty much says it all....
Do you play live?
Many live performances each year throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland - with occasional forays into New York, Connecticut, Virginia and Washington, D.C. For me it's ALL about performing live - telling and retelling story songs that can transport people in time to anywhere they've been and anyone they've been with. Some of the BEST and most magical musical moments happen with small, intimate groups at quiet restaurants or late night house parties. Every time I see someone's face light up or their head turn in recognition of a familiar tune ( I call them "old friends" ) I know that I have touched them through my music - far too many "special moments" to highlight just one or two, but I thank GOD every time I pick up a guitar that I can share the gift of music....
How, do you think, does the internet (or mp3) change the music industry?
The mp3 and the internet finally make it possible for us as musicians to reach people all around the world - we don't have to depend on a record company or the latest trend to get our music "out there" - and it doesn't have to cost a fortune anymore to make a decent enough recording that people will want to listen to.
Would you sign a record contract with a major label?
Under the right circumstances "yes" - but I would still want to do things the "old - fashioned" way with a LOT of touring support and personal appearances to keep the fan interest as high as possible. I believe that a musician can and should be able to make a good living as a performing artist more so than as a recording artist - I'm not happy unless I'm performing 250 + shows a year!
Too many "garage bands" and "pick up groups" to recall. "Parella & Parker / Songsters" ( Tom Parella and Gregg Parker ) musically was a unique and truly magical combination - both in the 70's / 80's and again just after the millenium. Tom and I are lifelong friends and true soul mates music - wise ( still are ) and still perform together on occasion. Probably THE best musical endeavor I have been involved with - and it continues to drive me in both my solo efforts and band work to date.
The Beatles are the "why" I became a musician - always finding a fresh, new direction and a new way to present their musical ideas. I never get tired of listening to them. Harry Chapin - my hero, was one of the VERY best storytellers in music to ever live. I have tried to model my live perfomance "style" after him - LONG sets and LOTS of musical "bang - for - the - buck"! Cat Stevens, Gordon Lightfoot, John Denver, James Taylor, Simon & Garfunkel, Neil Young all have had a strong influence on both my writing and performance styles. Everything I hear continues to influence the approach I take in making music. America, The Eagles, Eric Clapton - I can go on and on and on and on.........
Philadelphia and Baltimore are cool - but I do love the Florida keys! I live in the South Jersey pinelands and often travel 100 - 200 miles on gigs so I do get to see a lot of interesting places - at least from "the road"....
I've "semi - retired" my Dean double cutaway ( Jenny ) after almost 3,000 shows together - still love playing her, but I want to find a way to 'tweak' a few things. Currently playing Tom Parella's Gibson - given to me broken; fixed it 5 times and maybe THIS time it'll "stick" - but it's a delight to play. '77 Alvarez with a Fishman Elipse controller - GREAT for a real airy acoustic sound. A recently acquired Martin single cutaway and an Ovation classical nylon string for a "softer" sound. LOTS and LOTS of assorted PA gear acquired over the years - just recently went to Mackie powered speakers and they DO sound great! 44 years playing guitar and I just put together my first pedalboard this past summer - should've done it YEARS ago. Oh yeah - that Digitech Vocalist 4 that I bought fully intending to return to the store. It turned out to be a pretty reliable "sidekick" when used tastefully and creatively. Honer harmonicas - ALWAYS Hohners. Used to be Blues Bands but I switched a few years back to Special 20's - they hold up better.
Yeah - the longer I play and the more I learn the more I realize that I don't know. This whole wonderful "musical process" is a journey, NOT a destination and if you're not enjoying the ride you're doing something terribly wrong! If you feel good doing whatever you do music - wise then you're doing it right; and if it SOUNDS right it IS right. If what you're doing makes other people feel good then you, like me are truly blessed. Pull that guitar out of the closet or from under the bed and "talk" to it a couple of times a week. 5 - 10 minutes every couple of days can do amazing things for your spirit. And if you just can't / won't make the time give me a call; I can ALWAYS use another "lady" to play, and it's satisfying to know that SOMEBODY is making music with your investment. Stop by - say "HI!" and make a request or two - and next time you're at somebody's "live" event why not drop 'em a dollar or two to show your appreciation for their efforts to entertain you. Peace......
Gregg Parker at C.F. Martin & Co in Nazareth, PA
Gregg Parker - Best of South Jersey 2010
Gregg Parker at South Jersey Cabin
Gregg Parker with Deanna & John