Written by Eddie Ferranti

Parker Milsap @ MSC + Gall Holiday Cottonwood 2017 047Being able to catch up to musicians who caught your ear but have not come to your town in a while is a very cool thing.  One such performer was Parker Millsap. Rose and I found out that he has honed his chops and is a seasoned pro already at the ripe old age of twenty-four!  This Oklahoma native dazzled us at McGonigels Mucky Duck in Houston and then again at the Folk Alliance International in Kansas City when he was only 21. He hit the stage at bad ass Main Street Crossing with bassist Michael Rose, drummer Paddy Ryan and dynamic fiddler Daniel Foulks backing his multi-talented array of offerings this night.

Borrowing a lot from 2016 release , “The Very Last Day” and self titled 2014 album, the charismatic front man dazzled the packed house ( on a Monday, too! ) ripping thru foot stompers to single done ballads on acoustic guitar.  PM always has a smile and the in between songs banter was most enjoyable and kept to a minimum. The maturity level he has reached so fast is stunning and his ability to blend rock, country, blues and gospel folk hit me across the noggen big time. Manager at MSC, Mr. Matt, had been chasing Millsap for three years to come back and it was easy to see why.  They blasted out of the gate with an appropriate tune “Hands Up” that was louder than normal, but got the energetic crowd revved up followed by a stellar version of “I Hope I Die”. “The Very Last Day” was introduced as a “Song about the nuclear annihilation of everyone and everything, and I hope you enjoy it!” Yes we did as it was a ballsey mix of blues and foot thumping sprinkled with excellent fiddle solos. PM is a confident leader who knows how to spread it around well on stage.
Parker Milsap @ MSC + Gall Holiday Cottonwood 2017 025Millsap’s lyrics definitely get you thinking and some other highlights were “Palisade”, “Disappear” about leaving the rut you are stuck in, “Jealous Sun” where PM showed he is way more than a strummer on guitar, and “I Got to Get to You” that he wrote after fours hours sleep. The unique sound that this unit delivered with harp and violin trade-offs made it sound like dueling harmonicas on “Quite Contrary”!  Parker busted two strings on his guitar, but still blew the exhausted audience away with encore “Some People” (drive me nuts!).  This night offered a reunion with a scrub faced youngen who has grown into a player to reckoned with with an exciting future for his music and career.  His ability to deliver food for thought tunes mixed in with an Elvis type persona is why it easy to see him become something special……….God bless him and the fine folks at Main Street Crossing who roll out the red carpet each and every visit with charming wait staff and smiling faces!  Check them out at : www.mainstreetcrossing.com.
Eddie “Edge” Ferranti
Senior Editor
Houston Music Review