Parker Millsap releases today his self-titled national debut album via his own Okrahoma Records. The album features 10 originals that tackle themes of redemption, love, and twisted takes on real life characters.
As previously reported, Millsap is already making a name for himself with his intensely captivating live performances, most nights converting believers after just one song. The singer-songwriter grew up in the tiny town of Purcell (pop. 5,952), where he attended a Pentecostal church with his family three times a week for most of his youth. Though Millsap doesn’t consider himself very religious these days, the experiences engraved upon him inform his songwriting, according to a news release.
Blending that fire and brimstone preaching with rock, country, blues and Waits-ian imagery, he has created a sound uniquely his own. Millsap’s vocal unvarnished and gritty enough at times to come from a man twice his years, also has the ability to croon like a Motown veteran. The themes on the album, the follow-up to his 2012 self-released record “Palisade,” featuring his pal Michael Rose, cover everything from late-night characters in “Quite Contrary” to Sunday mornings in “Please Forgive Me.” Millsap has an easy finger-picking guitar style and a and knack for compelling and descriptive narratives.
The soulful and fervent “Truck Stop Gospel” tells a story of a Bible-selling trucker, attempting to cast
demons out of a parking lot prostitute. Completely opposite is the touching “Yosemite,” a ballad about an individual’s desperation.
“Parker Millsap” was recorded and produced by Wes Sharon (John Fullbright/Turnpike Troubadours) at his 115 Studios in Norman. On the road, Millsap is joined by a tightly knit ensemble, which includes upright bass player Rose and fiddler Daniel Foulks.
Millsap’s songwriting and undeniable charisma have already caught the attention of other fellow musicians. He opened a West Coast run for John Fullbright in March of 2013, and he opened for Old Crow Medicine Show’s legendary New Year’s Eve performance at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn.
The singer-songwriter visited with me last week in our NewsOK studios about the new album. Look for the interview Friday.
As previously reported, Millsap will play the first of three Oklahoma CD release shows from 7 to 9 tonight at The Deli in Norman. He also will perform a sold-out show Saturday night at the Blue Door and a Feb. 16 show with Tulsan John Moreland at The Vanguard. For more information, go to www.parkermillsap.com.