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ON THE VERGE

Parker Millsap

by Amy Jacques on May 09, 2014

Pure Oklahomacana

“I perform with my bassist Michael Rose and my fiddle player Daniel Foulks. We basically try to put on a rock-and-roll show without a drummer,” says Parker Millsap, calling his sound “Oklahomacana.” In February, Millsap released his self-titled debut, but it was challenging to get to that point. After a week into the process, his recordings didn’t sound like the album he hoped to make, so he scrapped 75 percent and started over. “It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but with producer Wes Sharon, Rose and Foulks, they made the record I had in my head,” he says. The songs are mostly character sketches or self-portraits with elements of old-school country, Mississippi blues and his Pentecostal upbringing. Millsap began singing in church at age five and started playing guitar at age nine. “When you grow up in one place your whole life, it’s hard to escape that mentality,” he says. “I lived in a town of about 7,000 my entire childhood and there are about 15 or 20 churches in that town, so my songs are definitely steeped in small-town life and gospel music.” The 20-year-old singer-songwriter plans to continue touring and has already experienced some craziness on the road, including being flashed in Wichita, Kan., often attracting panhandlers and playing a show in an RV park exercise room in Texas. “I love performing in front of new faces,” Millsap says. “Makes me feel right at home.”
Amy Jacques

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