ATL folk/Americana artist Parker Smith is gearing up to release his sophomore LP, Underground (out April 9). Like the local dive bar’s perennial drunkard, Parker Smith’s music has that rare ability to thrive while at its scrappiest. All aching pedal steel and cigarette-soaked pleas, Smith seems to put his own spiritual turmoil in a chokehold, elevating it until he squeezes out the elegant songs that make for Underground. Unlike most of his peers in the Americana community, Smith manages to defy being pigeonholed by inflecting his music with touches of blue-eyed soul (“Fray”), Asbury Park-indebted blues-rock (“Holy Water”), and even Gordon Lightfoot (“Arrowroot”). Though Underground might technically fall under the umbrella of a “quarantine album,” these songs differentiate themselves from Smith’s oeuvre in their raw, confessional nature and their hummability: these are songs not easily shaken from memory. And aptly so, as the album itself deals with the pain, guilt, and heartbreak inherent in engaging with some of your deepest memories….
Arrowroot is a plant sometimes used medicinally or as a source of starch when cultivated from the root that’s often found underground. It’s also the title of a single from Parker Smith’s upcoming sophomore album, Underground.
Smith’s baritone vocals emerge from a symphony of strings that sing within the Americana folk modus operandi. Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, the folk musician possesses the skills of both a songwriter and a performer. He is here to share stories—through songs he feels they find their best home for expression….
We’re into Nils Lofgren / Southside Johnny territory with today’s song premiere – Parker Smith has a new album ‘Underground‘ out on April 9th and the grooving ‘Fray’ is taken from it. There’s some smooth touches, but there’s also a nicely guttural guitar break or two. It’s urban rock, scuffling around on the edges with “nothing to give, nothing to lose” and a loser’s honesty “sorry I’m late – but I don’t have a good excuse.”
Americana Highways is hosting this premiere of Parker Smith’s song “High Road” from his forthcoming album Underground. The record was co-produced by Colin Agnew and Noah Kess; mixed by Noah Kess; mastered by Greg Obis at Chicago Mastering Service with photography by Alex Glustrom and graphic design by Roger Baldowski.
“High Road” is Parker Smith on guitars, bass, and lead vocals; Colin Agnew on drums, percussion, and background vocals;
and John Kingsley on pedal steel. Elsewhere on the album you’ll find Christopher Case on keys, Mimi Naja on mandolin, Kelly McFarling on background vocals and Zac Evans on sax.
Recorded during Quarantine.
With lots of country pedal steel swing, Parker Smith will draw you into his song about falling and picking yourself up again.
2/9/21 – GLIDE MAGAZINE – SONG PREMIERE: PARKER SMITH CLEARS HIS HEAD WITH SOULFUL COUNTRY-FOLK TUNE “ARROWROOT”
The album’s main theme is most concisely captured on “Arrowroot” – another name for the invasive plant kudzu – and today Glide is excited to premiere this standout track. The acoustically picked song finds Smith slyly recounting the disruptive nature of memory itself and, as Smith himself tells it, “trying to clear your head when all of that [memory] is weighing you down.” The addition of a delicately plucked mandolin gives the song a down home bluegrass sound that complements Smith’s soulful country-folk. Smith’s vocals are straightforward and soothing as he serves up vivid, literary-minded lyrics while backed by soft gospel harmonies and an easy-going instrumental arrangement.
“Parker Smith & the Bandwith do woodsy, earnest singer-songwriter fare cautiously infused with soul, bluegrass, gospel and Southern rock elements.” – Stomp and Stammer
“Parker Smith and the Bandwith are a great young band out of Atlanta. They’re a southern rock band in an essential way, though their songs run the gamut from sprawling, fast-paced jams to tight, quiet ballads. Smith’s lyrics, backed by tight guitar and mandolin playing, are poignant and full of yearning: for a cleaner life, a distant woman, fresh ground. It’s honest, heartfelt music that—without taking itself too seriously—contemplates the space between who we are and what we want to be. ”
– Charles Bethea, Contributing Editor at Atlanta Magazine
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