Ian Parker (singer-songwriter)
||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2011)|
|Birth name||Ian James Parker|
|Born||13 December 1976|
|Genres||Blue-eyed soul, folk rock, blues-rock, acoustic rock|
|Occupation(s)||singer, songwriter, guitarist|
|Years active||1989 – present|
Ian Parker (born Ian James Parker, 13 December 1976, Birmingham, England) is an English singer-songwriter and guitarist.
Born in Birmingham, he was brought up in nearby Stourbridge. Inspired by The Beatles, he began playing guitar at the age of 8. His interest in music flourished during his teenage years and following the completion of a BSc (HONS) degree in Psychology at the University of Derby, his musical career began.
In his early teens he began to focus heavily on electric guitar after hearing the music of Jimi Hendrix and Cream. From here Parker became passionately interested the blues, studying the music and its history at every opportunity. In 2003 he recorded his debut album, Inside for the German blues label Ruf Records. He went on to release a further three albums and two live DVDs through the company.
In addition to his interest in the blues, Parker has always considered himself to be a singer-songwriter. His influences are far-ranging and his music has largely revolved around a balance between his song-writing and his blues guitar playing. His most recent recording, a five track EP called Demons and Doubters released through Equator Music, marked a subtle change in direction away from blues-rock towards a more mainstream guitar-lead singer-songwriter identity.
Parker's family moved to Stourbridge shortly after he was born. He attended Ham Dingle Primary School where his interest in music was first stimulated whilst singing songs in morning assembly. He was selected to sing in the junior choir, which he did not enjoy due to the fact that he was the only boy involved.
His earliest interest was in motorcycle speedway and he became a firm fan of local team, the Cradley Heathens. At the age of 8, on hearing The Beatles' album, Rubber Soul, Parker begged his parents for a guitar. He also began taking piano lessons at this time, but his passion for the guitar far outweighed his willingness to practise the piano.
At the age of 11, Parker went to The Grange Comprehensive School. He soon became interested in developing his electric guitar playing and began listening to the music of Jimi Hendrix and Cream. He was asked to join the school swing band on electric guitar, but his inability to read music hindered his progress. In his final year at The Grange he started his first semi-professional band Strange Brew, named after the Cream song. The band played in local pubs and built a reputation for their interpretations of songs from the late 1960s blues-rock era. On drums was Christian Finn and on bass David Jenkins.
Parker took A-levels at King Edward VI college of Stourbridge, before moving to Derby, England to study a BSc (HONS) degree in Psychology. He developed his music alongside his studies and continued to play pub gigs at weekends.
On completion of his degree, he moved back to Stourbridge and formed his first professional band.
Determined to forge a career in music for himself, Parker formed Monty Turnbull with three other local musicians including Morg' Morgan who went on to play with Parker for the next fourteen years. The band developed a good local reputation, which soon expanded nationally as they travelled outside of the Birmingham area. After a change of personnel, and a new focus on original material, new bass player Chris Lomas renamed the band Parker's Alibi in 1999, just prior to their appearance at London's Shepherds Bush Empire, where they opened for Jeff Beck. Significantly, Beck's manager Ralph Baker of Equator Music was impressed with his performance and remained in contact with Parker over the next few years.
Parker's Alibi disbanded in early 2002, and Parker spent the next few months writing songs and contemplating his next musical move. During this period he worked part-time in a local psychiatric unit.
With lots of new material and a new band, he formed The Ian Parker Band and signed to Ruf Records in 2003 as a solo artist.
The Ruf years
Parker's career took off in the summer of 2003, when he signed to Ruf Records following a personal introduction to US record producer, David Z (Prince – Purple Rain). His debut album Inside was released in October of that year, and established Parker as an accomplished singer-songwriter and guitarist.
In March 2004, he appeared on the German live music TV show, Rockpalast, and a live DVD of his performance was released in June 2005, entitled Whilst The Wind] (Ruf3007). In addition, a live album documenting Parker's performance in Hannover during his December 2004 European Tour, was also released in June 2005 under the same title (Ruf1102).
In September 2005, Parker wrote and recorded five songs for a Ruf Records project album, Pilgrimage (Ruf1112) which was recorded in Clarksdale Mississippi and Memphis Tennessee, and released in January 2006. A live DVD entitled "Blues Caravan – The New Generation" was also released in 2006. The release of Pilgrimage extended Parker's touring activities throughout Europe and into the USA. Also instrumental in bringing Parker and his music to the USA, was Greg Lewis and his New Jersey radio show, Rock-it Science, on local station WNTI. Greg became a fan of Parker's music on hearing a Parker's Alibi live album called Exposed in 2000. He played Parker's songs on his show over the next few years, and worked tirelessly to persuade local festival organisers and promoters to book him. Parker's first live shows in the New Jersey area took place in August 2006.
On return from America in September 2005, Parker began a lengthy artistic process based around his rediscovery of the roots artists who had inspired him as a teenager. The resulting album, Where I Belong (Ruf1120), was released in January 2007 and produced by Matt Butler, whose extensive CV includes Sir Paul McCartney. The ensuing promotional tour culminated in the recording of The Official Bootleg (MT006), which captures the highlights of the final UK leg of an eighteen-month-long tour of Europe and the UK, with fellow band members Morg' Morgan (keys), Wayne Proctor (drums), and Steve Amadeo (bass).
Parker spent much of 2008 writing new material, and at the beginning of 2009 under the management of Ralph Baker of Equator Music, sessions began in Bath's Riverside Studios. The resulting five track EP, Demons and Doubters] (Equator), was recorded under the guidance and supervision of Clive Deamer, and Jon Jacobs (who learned his trade with Sir George Martin at Air Studios). Demons and Doubters marks a subtle change in direction away from blues-rock towards a more mainstream guitar-lead singer/songwriter approach.
During 2010, Parker focused on acoustic shows, either solo, as a duo (with Morg Morgan on keyboards, or Wayne Proctor on percussion) or trio (with Steve Amadeo on bass and Chris Eaton on slide guitar). Due to popular demand, the acoustic show at The Globe, Cardiff, was recorded and released as a live album entitled The Bare Bones on 21 March 2011. Morgan played on three songs, and four of the eleven tracks were previously un-recorded.
- Inside (2003)
- Where I Belong (2007)
- Demons And Doubters EP (2009)
- Politik Blues (2015)
- Lost & Found (2003)
- ...Whilst the Wind (2005)
- The Official Bootleg (2008)
- The Bare Bones (2011)
- "Your Love Is My Home" (2007)
- …Whilst the Wind (Live) (2005)
- CD: Blues Caravan Pilgrimage (2005)
- DVD: Blues Caravan – The New Generation (Live) (2006)
- CD: Kinver - The Stone House (2013) http://kinvermusic.com/
Awards and honours
- In March 2004, Parker appeared on German live music TV show, Rockpalast, as part of the Crossroads Festival. Parker and his band were voted the number one act of the festival.
- In August 2006, in Dordrecht, The Netherlands, he received the Arrow Big Rivers Festival Award for 'Most Impressive Artist'. Every year this prestigious award is given to the musician who makes the biggest impression, not only on the audience but also on the festival organisers.
- [dead link]
- "Ian Parker – Demons and Doubters EP". Ianparkermusic.com. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
- "Equator Music London England". Equatormusic.com. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
- [dead link]
- [dead link]
- "Greg Lewis – DJ". WNTI. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
- "WNTI Program Guide". Publicbroadcasting.net. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
- "WNTI 91.9FM Public Radio from Centenary College". Wnti.org. 28 November 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
- [dead link]
- "Recording studios in Bath specializing in recording bands live". Questmusic.co.uk. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
- "Ian Parker – Demons and Doubters EP". Ianparker.biz. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
- "Clive | Gratis muziek, tourneedata, foto's, video's". Myspace.com. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
- [dead link]
- [dead link]
- [dead link]
- "Rockpalast – WDR Fernsehen". Wdr.de. 3 December 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
- "Tiende Big Rivers in hartje Dordrecht". Musicfrom.nl. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
- Official website: IanParkerMusic.com
- Dutch fansite: IanParkerMusic.nl
- German fansite: IanParkerMusic.de.tl