Rising Artist: Parker Twomey (Gallery + Interview)

Parker Twomey is a Texas based singer-songwriter whose roots run deep in the Americana genre with a flair of southern rock n' roll.  Born and raised in Dallas, Parker spent his high school years honing his musical talents at the highly acclaimed Booker T Washington School for the Performing & Visual Arts, which has produced such talents as Norah Jones, Erykah Badu, Edie Brickell and Roy Hargrove. Parker plays keys with a few bands in town, performs with his high energy band, and interns at Modern Electric Sound Recorders.

SR: Whats your first music memory?

Twomey: Wow, [laughs] umm... I think my first music memory is when I was really little. I took my parents' iPod and was scrolling through it.  I remember coming across some Red Hot Chili Peppers and some old-school Rush and both of those bands really struck big time for me.  I don't know if I would say I am very inspired by the Red Hot Chili Peppers or Rush but they definitely played a prominent roll in music in my early childhood. So I think that would have to be the first memory.

Whats it like to be in the music industry at such a young age?

Being in the music industry at a young age is good and bad I think. There's a lot of hardships that you have to go through but I think that's just part of it.  Everyone has to go through that.  Everyone was a young musician or young artist at some point.  It's the right of passage in a way.  I am really excited to get older [laughs].  But at the same time it is pretty cool knowing what you want to do at a young age and just going full force. I feel very blessed about that.

Whats been the most memorable moment of your career thus far?

That's a really hard one. It's hard to say. I've been doing a lot of different things. Musically, I've been interning at Modern Electric Sound Recorders for almost a year now which has been awesome for me, because audio engineering and the whole recording side of things is something I'm super interested in and its a passion of mine as well as being a front man or playing keys for other bands.  So I don't know that I could pinpoint one specific moment.  I'm just trying to take it in in as many different areas as I can.

Whats your favorite song to play live?

In the way of originals, it's always changing.  Like I'm really excited to play whatever I just wrote or whatever is most recent because it's fresh and new and I love seeing how the audience reacts to new material.  Cover-wise, I really like doing Allman Brothers' "Soulshine", old-school stuff.  Or Wilco, the early ... A.M. stuff is great.  Just anything like rockin' and rollin'. I'm a big southern rock 'n roll guy.

Who's had the biggest influence on your career?

I think Ryan Adams. I would have to say he has been a massive influence of mine.  Gold was actually the first record I ever bought and it's still one of my favorite records of all time. The production on that record and the songs and everything about it is insane to me.  Ryan Adams, lyrically and musically, is just a big influence of mine.  Elliott Smith is another one that I've been really influenced by. I feel like his melodies and his vulnerability has really rubbed off on me—like, those are traits that I really like to incorporate into my music.  And Chris Robinson is another one who just recently within the last few years has become a big influence of mine.

Who would be your dream musician to work with?

Thats something that I haven't really thought about.  Hmm.  Well since I said Ryan Adams in the last one  he would be a dream musician to work with  I'm going to have to go with someone else [laughs].  I love the Tedeschi Trucks Band, so Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks  oh man, those guys are on the next level. I think it would be so fun to share a stage with them sometime.  That would be a dream come true.

If you could write the soundtrack for any movie what movie would you pick?

Wow, these are some great questions [laughs] ...The thing is these movies already have great soundtracks so I don't know what I would do differently.  The River Runs Through It is great. I love that movie.  And I'm a big Robin Williams fan so Good Will Hunting is one of the top movies for me.  Man, I don't know, that's a great question. I think that would be something that would be fun to do. Maybe one day I will get to do something like that.

What was the first concert you ever played?

I started playing in church that's how I started playing guitar and as soon as I started playing guitar I started writing songs so, not long after that, naturally I wanted to start playing shows.  There's a coffee shop just a few minutes away from my house called White Rock Coffee and they were really cool to me when I was first starting out. I would go there and play shows monthly and all my friends would show up and it was a cool place to find the shoes that I'm in today.  Even still I'm always changing, as we should be as artists, but White Rock Coffee— and Opening Bell Coffee, I can't remember which one I actually played at first, but they're both great places.

What would be your dream venue to play at?

I would love to play Red Rocks one day.  I've never actually been there but [from] everything I've heard about it and all the videos I've seen, it seems like that is a place that I would definitely want to play at one day. Locally though, Granada Theater would be a fun place to play; that or The Bomb Factory.

What advice would you give to aspiring musicians?

Keep on grinding.  Never stop the grinding.  I'm doing the same thing.  I don't think that I'm at the level now to be giving advice out to a mass amount of people but from what I've seen from the people who have made it is just that constant grind.  Never giving [that] up ... To be successful, it's got to be 110% full force all the way.  So I think that is what I would have to say.  Also that vulnerability is such a powerful thing that not a lot of people are comfortable with; and it is a scary thing, I think, to be okay with. Even the greatest people and even I have trouble with it at times.  Like I said earlier Elliott Smith is a big influence of mine and I think the reason that he is as great as he is is because of how vulnerable he was and people really can relate... They are just kind of guided to people who are vulnerable, so I think that's a really powerful thing.


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