Posted On 17 May 2017
Charles Parker is a triple threat, who not only can sing and play guitar but also writes on a level far above most of his peers. His unique music is a place where rock, folk and pop cross paths on the way to a remarkably contemporary sound. Through his work being a professional musician in cover bands and tribute bands, Parker is a seasoned performer who is known for his strong work ethic, passion for music and determination to persevere. With his over 20 years of experience, the journey continues through the release of his debut album Bring Back The Sun.
Born and raised in Baltimore Maryland, Parker started life as a very shy kid. “My Mom bought me my ﬁrst guitar when I was about 10 yrs old. She said she wanted me to be like Elvis. It took several years to actually learn how to play it. I spent my early years listening to 70’s pop stars such as The Bay City Rollers, Patridge Family etc. Then I saw Kiss Alive 2 in the department store and that changed it all. No more Teen idol pop. My inﬂuences went from BCR to Kiss then the Metal years came in. Iron maiden, Judas Priest and all the Hair Bands. I learned to play everything I could. Thats why in my cover bands, we can pretty much play anything the audience asks for. I’ve been able to make a living as a full time musicians for quite a long time which is unheard of around here.”
Parker’s debut album as a solo artist, Bring Back The Sun, features a sound that is big yet stripped down with infectious melodies and catchy hooks. “When I sat down to write the album Bring Back the Sun, I don’t remember really trying to do it, it sort of just came out. I just remember sitting down with an acoustic and strumming some chords and humming a melody. I think the ﬁrst 2 songs were “Love to Feel The Rain” & “Stop”. After that, the songs just kept coming. I woke up in the middle of the night with the Chorus of “Bring Back The Sun”. I got up ,wrote it down and grabbed a guitar and ﬁnished the rest. Good thing I didn’t go back to sleep that night.
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Learn more about Charles Parker in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! How is 2017 treating you so far? Did you approach the start of this year any differently then you did last year?
2017 is going well. Since the release in January of BBTS . Been getting it out to radio and media outlets. Sometimes it can be difficult to get people to listen but just gotta keep working. Last year it was just booking and playing in cover bands. This year we are pushing the new CD primarily.
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall your first musical memory? (I love the story about your mom getting you a guitar when you were 10 and wanting you to be like Elvis!)
Yes. From way back all I ever thought about was playing in a band . I remember picking up a guitar and thinking I could never get the sound that I hear on records out of this thing. Just remember watching 70’s reruns of the Partridge Family and wanting to be in a band. My mother & Grandmother always had Elvis playing and my father had all the Motown and bands like Chicago playing. So I got a guitar when I was about 10 and started to learn. It took many years to get to be able to actually play though.
Could you see yourself doing anything else today? If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing?
I’d probably be homeless..lol I have been lucky enough to do this most of my adult life. Whether playing in cover and tribute bands or just solo acoustic. I have always found a way to make a living in music. If I didn’t play I would probably be a concert promoter. I had owned 2 night clubs in the past and booked many fairs and events around the area. I think once you get in to the music club you can always fall back on that .
Let’s talk about your debut album as a solo artist called “Bring Back The Sun.” What was it like putting this collection together? Did anything surprise you about the entire process? How long did it take altogether?
I didn’t know what I was in for doing this. I had written songs over the years and really didn’t do much with them. It seemed in Baltimore it was very hard to survive playing your own music. So I just played in cover bands and did the original thing on the side. I had a friend that had a local studio. Looking back it wasn’t very good. I recorded a 3 song demo and took it to another studio to get copies. The engineer at the new studio heard the songs and new that these songs were good and needed proper production to bring them to life. So it took years on a musicians budget but we ended up recording 15 songs for the CD.
I am curious to know how your experience as a musician in cover bands and tribute bands helped shape the kind of artist that you are today and the kind of original material that you create?
I think learning all you can in music helps a lot. The songs I play in cover bands are usually the greatest hits of rock music. Those songs were great. You learn the structure . You learn how to write and what makes sense musically. So when writing I sat down with an acoustic guitar and started coming up with chords and lyrics that fit. They always had to rhyme lol…Most important. Also playing in cover & Tributes exposes you to the music scene. To play in front of people on stage and become good at it. Its a lot different than playing in the bedroom.
What were some of your favorite cover and tribute bands to be in? What artists do you love covering the most? Are you still in any today?
I actual have five working bands at this moment. A Top/Variety Rock band,Kiss Tribute , Beatles Tribute ,80’s Band and a Beach Band ( Jimmy Buffett/Beach Boys) …I continue to work constantly with these bands. I have noticed and actual said to the guys in the band that its not about playing what we like, its about playing what the people want to hear and what the girls will dance to. It just makes all involved successful.
With recent trips to Nashville I have seen some incredible players with different influences that I have never known. So know I find myself learning all I can about those new styles.
Have you been touring or do you have plans to tour with “Bring Back The Sun” this year? Are you working on anything new at the moment?
Right now I am just working on promoting “Bring Back the Sun” …Just trying to get it out to radio and have people become familiar with the songs. No tour yet. But I am ready whenever I am asked to go. If I go out and no one knows what we are playing I think they would tend not to show up for the shows. Hopefully soon though.
What artists have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
I think a lot of inspiration has come from Pop radio. Hearing Elvis, The Beatles, Kiss and these bands that basically were here and gone before I was born. Back then albums had many hit songs. Today not so much. Then more obscure bands like Jellyfish were a huge influence in the 90’s…I think I would just like to work with Iconic music heroes. Paul McCartney, Tom Petty and some of the Nashville guys , Vince Gill, Alan Jackson…Just to see what their perspective and work ethic is. See how they would go about writing.
At the end of the day, what do you hope your fans take away from your music? What do you hope is the message of your songs?
I would hope that they just enjoy the songs. I have found that the message in the songs mean different things to different people. I believe that most songs have to do with relationship or love. Seems everywhere you look it’s a Love Song. That’s a good thing. I hope that my love songs will end up having lots of fans.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
Just like to encourage fans to give new music a listen . If you like it great if you don’t at least you gave it an opportunity to be heard. Please check out my songs on iTunes, You Tube and all over the internet.