Written by Eddie Ferranti
May 19, 2013 at 08:00 PM
ImageEvery year, Rose and I make a point to go to the Mucky Duck in Houston for KPFT 90.1’s Annual Birthday celebration around St. Patrick’s Day. It never fails that we hit on an unknown act who grabs us and we chase to see again. This year that someone happened to be Parker Milsap.

To say this young man from Oklahoma can tell a story is an understatement. His lyrics are richly textured well beyond his twenty years or so on this planet. “You Gotta Move” scorched out of the box in a bluesey whiskey-soaked manner that made you strap in and get ready for the ride.

When we saw him in March, he blew the tent down with his full band, but tonight was him alone and after “Quite Contrary” (about cookin’ meth) he let us know it would be more than an okay gig after two songs.

‘Palisade’ is the name of his album he drew heavy from, but he had TWO full hours of material without a break! Killer indeed. He fashioned a super in your face aggressive style on new one “The Morning Blues” showcasing harp, guitar and vocal prowess.

For such a young cat it was neat to see someone so confident in his talent knowing when to step on the gas and when to back off like on “The Devil”, where the lyric “Don’t want to let you down anymore” resonated. He even whipped out a banjo (self-proclaimed his first time) and killed it on “Just Like the Lightning”.

“Wish I Had a House” (I think correct), “Disappear” and “Jackson’s In A Hole” displayed very meaningful licks and his infectious midwestern “aw shucks” personality grows on you the longer he plays. T

hough PM’s style is not original per se, the soulful grass roots sound is something that is fresh and engaging. He summed it up himself by proclaiming: “Americana crowds are too polite and quiet. Why is that?!” I agree dude!

“I Wish I Were a Dog” slayed me with good lyrics about life, especially “Wish I could chase my tail all day for thrills!” Heck at my “day job” I feel I do it for pay! HA!

More stick to your ribs lyrics prevailed on”Sticks and Stones” (“Words will start a fire”), “End of a Rope” (“HOW do you measure ?”) and the startling somber “I Hope I Die” (“Not sleepin’ when the grim comes reapin”).
Borrowing form the Mary Tyler Moore show (showing my age) I remember when Lou Grant told Mary she had “spunk” and he hated it. Well, Milsap HAS plenty of spunk and I dig it! He’s been touring with fellow Oklahomian, John Fullbright, and he’s carving out a blossoming niche for damn sure.

He stormed to the finish with “Palisade” about a poor boy far from home and a tongue-in-cheek encore about Oklahoma “Land of the Redman”.

Summing it all up in a nut shell we were damn glad we got off our duffs to catch a dude with his star on the rise. Let’s hope Houston wakes up and more than 20 or so folks (with a 6pm early start) come out to enjoy him the next time he graces our fair city…make it sooner rather than later bro! GO see something LIVE people!