Sometimes, it’s the simple things in life that are the most remarkable. Not that a mellow gentleman and an acoustic guitar would be something simple! In some cases, when these two things come together, they’re rather anything but that. And that’s exactly how it is with PERRY O’PARSON, our beloved German singer and songwriter miracle, who needs nothing more and nothing less than his six strings to create something simply wonderful.
PERRY O’PARSON is this type of guy that could have been – metaphorically speaking – born with a guitar in his hands, since he’s handling this instrument like as if it was indispensable to life. But I can assure you that he doesn’t always have it in his hands, but when he does, he morphs into an authentic American folk singer with one of the most intense voices since the grand JOHNNY CASH. We had the joy of watching him play live last week and we also took the chance to grab one of his brand new albums – Bad Harvest out today via Waggle-Daggle Records – of which we had a sneak pre-listen… well, it ended up in some infinity loop for good reason.
Even after listening to his songs for the umpteenth time, PERRY O’PARSON still makes my americanophile heart beat faster. His music never fails to create this one-of-a-kind, countryesque atmosphere that always has this melancholic touch. It seems like he’s spent much of his lifetime sitting on a porch, thereby jamming his guitar to the sounds of vastness and loneliness.
His latest album Bad Harvest offers you all of the lovely facets of warm folksy music, always the guitar melody being the first thing to arise in his head, sometimes months or even years before the final lyrics are being added to it. It’s these intimate sounds of RYAN ADAMS and JEFF BUCKLEY that’ll touch the core of every country music lover, over and over again. The album, which was partly recorded in his basement, is again a very personal mix of experiences and emotions, beautifully arranged in ten lovely songs. For the first time ever the piano, a violin, the loop-station, and a female voice were added to his singing and guitar play, adding a diverse character to the album.
The powerful and melodic Glove was originally destined for a Christmas present, however found its way onto the album as lovely opener. Wait And See, an oldie but goldie, is one of the piano-driven songs that reflect Marcel Gein’s – PERRY O’PARSON’s civic name – love for this instrument that he has played for a while now, though on the record he left it to someone else to do so. One of my favorites is definitely So Cold The Night, for it is so peaceful and promising in its piano-accompanied chorus. And since every truly naturally-grown record has its one song that is somewhat outstanding, it goes without saying that Bad Harvest has it as well: the rhythmic sing-along Island that is more energetic and bright that its entire fellow tracks. Reign Over Me – named after the American drama movie – deals with the heavy topic of anxiety states, even though it comes along so strongly, probably being an excellent therapy song just for this reason. The penultimate song Flakes is a true lullaby, softly and dreamy from the first to the last chord. With the last song on this wonderful record, Bliss, PERRY O’PARSON proofs his outstanding songwriter skills again in a gorgeous way, using the loop-station and the harmonica to embellish the track perfectly. His impressively rough but very melodic voice takes you to foreign places and makes you fantasize eternal freedom. This record is worth a listen under any circumstances, whether you wanna dream away or sing along, have some booze with friends or enjoy the noble loneliness after a busy day, PERRY O’PARSON will always take you by his hand and soothe you.
folk / singer/songwriter
from Karlsruhe/Mannheim, Germany