12 Songs, 48 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Anders Parker is a songwriter’s songwriter. There’s a reason that other heavyweights, Steve Earle to Jay Farrar, choose to work with him: Parker writes from a pure, heartfelt perspective and sings with an unpretentious, roadworn beauty. Like an old comfortable pair of jeans, he fits in all the right places. After years of recording with his group Varnaline, Parker went officially solo. This self-titled third album was recorded in three days with an illustrious cast: Wilco drummer Ken Coomer, Son Volt pedal steel player Eric Heywood, Warren Zevon bassist Jennifer Condos and Dumptruck guitarist Kirk Swan. The small band ensemble plays perfectly into Parker’s country-inflected drawl and the synergy is smart and natural. Whether he’s reflecting on the political landscape and its culture of mis-truths (“False Positive”) or reflecting on the little things in life that make a home (“Airport Road,” “Under Wide Unbroken Skies”), Parker does so without overstaying his welcome. Much like fellow troubadour Richard Buckner, Parker finds solace in the feeling of motion as he centers on a few key chords.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Anders Parker is a songwriter’s songwriter. There’s a reason that other heavyweights, Steve Earle to Jay Farrar, choose to work with him: Parker writes from a pure, heartfelt perspective and sings with an unpretentious, roadworn beauty. Like an old comfortable pair of jeans, he fits in all the right places. After years of recording with his group Varnaline, Parker went officially solo. This self-titled third album was recorded in three days with an illustrious cast: Wilco drummer Ken Coomer, Son Volt pedal steel player Eric Heywood, Warren Zevon bassist Jennifer Condos and Dumptruck guitarist Kirk Swan. The small band ensemble plays perfectly into Parker’s country-inflected drawl and the synergy is smart and natural. Whether he’s reflecting on the political landscape and its culture of mis-truths (“False Positive”) or reflecting on the little things in life that make a home (“Airport Road,” “Under Wide Unbroken Skies”), Parker does so without overstaying his welcome. Much like fellow troubadour Richard Buckner, Parker finds solace in the feeling of motion as he centers on a few key chords.

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About Anders Parker

Americana singer/songwriter Anders Parker has recorded as the alt-country act Varnaline and played in the experimental band Space Needle as well as going under his own name. He's also collaborated with such artists as Kendall Meade (Mascott) and Jay Farrar (Son Volt). Based in Brooklyn, Parker grew up on an old farm in New York's Hudson Valley listening to Bob Dylan, ABBA, R.E.M., the Replacements, Hüsker Dü, and the Smiths. He began releasing records as Varnaline in 1996, starting with Man of Sin on Zero Hour. The following year Varnaline included Anders' bass-playing brother John Parker and drummer Jud Ehrbar, who convinced Anders to play in Ehrbar's band Space Needle. After the folding of Varnaline's record label, Anders relocated to North Carolina and signed to E-Squared/Artemis Records and issued Songs in a Northern Key in 2001, which was mainly a solo effort under the Varnaline name. The solo album Tell It to the Dust followed in 2004. In addition to a collaboration with Jay Farrar called Gob Iron, Parker released a self-titled album in 2006 under his own name on Baryon Records. He recruited Adam Lasus, who co-produced the second Varnaline and Space Needle records (as well as Clem Snide and Helium). The album featured Ken Coomer (Wilco) on drums, Eric Heywood (Son Volt) on pedal steel, Jennifer Condos on bass, and Kirk Swan (Dumptruck) on guitar. In 2011, Parker hooked up with Farrar, My Morning Jacket's Yim Yames, and Centro-Matic's Will Johnson to record an album of previously unrecorded Woody Guthrie lyrics. New Multitudes was released in early 2012 by Rounder Records. ~ Kenyon Hopkin

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