On that wall happened to be a picture of one of my dad's old bands, Mumblin' Eddy. Staring up at my pops and him smiling back at me, I felt proud. Here I was for the first time getting into the trenches...
It is easy to want to retreat and to expect the worst–that you are not capable of reaching people in this setting, that they are going to want to hear only cover music, that you might not have enough personality to win them over
I have been performing and collaborating with Dave C for over eight years. We have performed to a magnitude of audiences from full crowds at performing arts centers and pubs, to a lawn chair circle of awkward campers at a State Park. We have performed for an incredible amount of elementary, middle, high school and College students’ classes; kids that study poetry and kids that hate poetry; classes of eight year olds that understand and write poetry on a deep level to high school kids that sleep at their desks for the entire time. Not to mention the numerous libraries, community centers and even house parties across our great state of Montana.
Looking back, I can’t really believe all that we have done together—I certainly never thought getting together with the new waiter that needed accompaniment for his poetry would lead to such opportunities and experiences.
This next opportunity that I am particularly excited for is our next gig which will be at the Attic in Livingston, MT on June tenth. We are performing with Marc Beaudin, poet and owner of Elk River Books in Livingston, MT, and we are also adding an extremely fantastic drummer into the mix from one of my all time favorite bands MORPHINE, Billy Conway. I am over the moon that I get to meet and perform with him!
I can guarantee that it will be a night to be remembered and I am positive we're all going to have fun and get as deep and as emo as possible.
I have always had an incredible time performing at the Art House Cinema and Pub. Not only is the Art House a cornerstone in the downtown Billings community for indie movies, events, and night life, but it's also a fantastic venue for music! It's a real listening room that lends itself to a powerful energy and a great vibe.
The Bleeding hearts and I will be performing a two set show and it will be mixed, mastered and given out digitally as part of the $30 ticket price, and all of the proceeds will go towards the building of Phase Two of the Art House. Matt Blakeslee has done so much for me and many others in this community with the Art House, CMYK, and Art House Studio, and it's a pleasure to give back to him in any way possible. For what you are getting, it's a small price to pay to help such a cool place expand. I hope you'll consider joining us. Don't sleep on it, seating is limited! To find out more, visit: http://arthousebillings.com/phase-2/
This Friday night will be the debut performance of The Big Sky Trio, a group spearheaded by pianist Erik Olson, with Keller Paulson on drums and myself on double bass. This show is special to me because we are preparing to record an album together next week--which will be my first "jazz" album to date.
Erik and I have been playing together in lots of different settings, starting with our first gig with Ronnie Bedford and Friends nine years ago. I remember him as just this li'l guy playing piano with his dad hovering over him the whole gig. Since then, he has become an incredible musician and our weekly trips to Sheridan College the last two years have helped us develop a deep and meaningful friendship. I'm really excited to see Erik this passionate about a project, but I'm also a bit nervous because he is such a fantastic musician and I want to give him and his music the best performance I can muster.
We'd love for you to come and enjoy the great atmosphere The Madison provides, the incredible cocktails from the Grizzly Bar, and our take on some modern music that we've made together, and are very proud of.
For tickets please give Harper and Madison a call at 406-281-8550
Things are such, that someone lifting a cup, or watching the rain, petting a dog,
Or singing, just singing––could be doing as much for this universe as anyone.
Multiple times a week I have a Grant Jones song stuck in my head. He has an uncanny way of developing a mood around a song and taking you right to the heart of it with thoughtful and often poignant lyrics. Not only is G. Jones a talented songwriter and inspiration to me, but he is also an incredible friend. I've called on Grant many times to help me in a bind, whether in music or otherwise, and he has always, without hesitation, been there for me.
To play music with such a person is a gift and a complete pleasure. It is fun to think of individuals and friends assembling to put their energies together to make music. It's a beautiful and fleeting unity, but it's one of my favorite things to do.
On this particular gig I am playing Pedal Steel guitar, open E lapslide, and electric guitar. He has Keller Paulson on percussion and Phillip Griffin on bass and silky harmonies. It's a good cause and we are also splitting the night with Wes Urbaniak's new outfit, which I look foward to hearing. We will start at 5:00.
Some people punch a hole in your being whenever they are around, and then you leak out energy and other kinds of vitals you could have used
Then, there are people who can connect you to a depth in their heart and for a moment, maybe an hour, maybe a day, you will share their radiance.
The China doll in us, at some point, will no longer break. It is then you will find you have the ability to heal others, in a way few in this world can
– Rumi (THE CHINA DOLL IN US)
I can remember when I first started performing my own material, eight years ago, during my weekly solo gigs at Tiny’s Tavern and the Club Carlin. I was wet behind the ears and only used to performing with others as a side man. Every part of me wished to be as slim as the mic stand so I could hide from the people in attendance. In fact, I would pray that people wouldn’t show up, or if they did, start talking so I could ease into my performance. I was comfortable performing in front of people while they carried on eating, drinking, and talking.
Now, after years of performing and feeling like I am developing my craft into something worth being heard, felt, and connected with, all I want is to share it with people. I have been fortunate to have some very meaningful "listening" shows with this project over the last year and it has been so refreshing and invigorating--life changing, even. I believe it becomes meaningful--not just the performer, but to the audience as well--there is an energy that fills the room when we are both open and connecting on a thoughtful and vulnerable level.
So, on Friday, the twenty-fifth of March, I will be performing with my band (now aptly titled Parker Brown and the Bleeding Hearts) at the Kemmick Loft in downtown Billings. I have had the privilege of performing there with the Rimrock Hot Club to a very attentive and respectful crowd. To say the least, I can’t wait. It's sold out, so if you haven't RSVP'd then get on the waiting list! Let's share eachother's "radiance".
This will also be Matt Devitt’s first show with us on percussion as well as a line up that I am going to try and have for our out of town shows and other house concerts. It will be Erik Olson, piano; Phillip Griffin, bass and backup vocals; John Roberts, trombone; Sam White, tenor saxophone.
If you are interested, please contact email@example.com. It’s bring your own chair and beer. Fantastic hour d’ oeuvres will be served for your snacking needs. I hope to see you there.
I am always excited to perform at the "Winery". As I was getting back into performing my singer-songwriter thing, playing at the Yellowstone Winery and Cellars was always a feather in my cap. The crowd, staff, and owner have always been very responsive and kind to me and my material. It's a great place to grab some fantastic wine as well as enjoy some conversation and music. I've played in places where I feel like I am just playing to the cacophonous swirling grey wall of people's conversations. Although this atmosphere is conducive to conversation and a good time, there is always this vibe of keeping the music on the forefront. I like that.
I also like that I am playing with two very good friends. If you haven't heard Trevor Krieger play his fiddle or violin then you've been missing out. I love playing with Trevor because I know that he is trying to go with me wherever I go--to make the music an experience--as good as it can be. I like watching my son play on the playground with his buddies in pre-school and they are running around with out a plan, zig-zagging through the grounds, under the slides, up on top of the highest perch, getting lost in fun like no one is watching. This is the same way I think of the times that Trevor and I really link up. There is a light that goes on, a head nod, an eye brow raise, and a non verbal "let's go!".
Phillip has already been discussed in previous posts, but as we perform and hang out, I feel that our music becomes stronger (I have always been a firm believer in that thanks to Clay Green), and we are tapping into something that will be very potent in the future. That kind of energy makes me excited.
So, come on down and bring yer sweetie, or bring your self. Nothing wrong with being alone. Yer not alone; we're playing for you.
It is fun to think that one year ago I started this project with no particular idea in mind. I Just knew that I wanted to share the songs that I had written that year with people. Not long after my first show at a local restaurant, I started recording my first solo album We Were Young. Now, and not since about 2006 have I tried to promote a project, book a "tour," and get reviews. And never has it been with my own project. It's fitting that almost ten years later I am trying to do it all again. I was so burned out after that project that the thought of doing this made me physically ill (or something like that). This time it's all on my shoulders, so I could either sit around and hope for gigs to roll in or get on the horn and make something happen. The result is a three day "jaunt" in three Montana towns: 12.15.16 @ Lewis and Clark Brewing Company, Helena, MT; 12.16.16 @ Cikan House, Bozeman, MT; and 12.17.16 @ Yellowstone Valley Brewing Company, Billings, MT.
*we are playing tonight at Plonk in Bozeman (12.14.16) with Erik Olson's love jam big band
That may not seem like much, but it takes an incredible amount of work when you are first getting out there. Even if people know your name, they can't do much until you build a reputation with them through your music. "But how do you build a reputation if you can't get gigs?" you may aks, well, that is a good question. My experience is that eventually someone gives you a chance, and once you build a relationship with them you are able to get the dates you need quickly and then focus your energy on getting gigs in new towns. Slow arduous process.
Anywho, without getting too business about it, I am pleased to be hitting the road for this snowy little "jaunt" with my friends to share some of my/our work, heart, and soul with some new folks and friends that have never seen this side of me before. I am extremely honored to be playing at these venues--Cikan house has been a dream of mine as a jazz musician and I am thankful enough that they are opening their home to my music of this "genre".
I hope to see some friends out at the shows.
This Friday will be the release of John Roberts’ debut album Soul y Pimienta at the Yellowstone Valley Brewing Company. Since John’s arrival in Billings, MT in July of two-thousand thirteen he has helped to strengthen the momentum of the blossoming music and arts scene in Billings. More than just a hired gun from L.A., where he spent sixteen years as a freelance and studio musician, John brings a professionalism to the town as a band leader and educator that I have not seen in the time I have lived in Billings (2002). John instantly inspired the darkened music program at MSU-Billings by getting kids interested in performing outside of the academic situation, going out to see and enjoy live music, and performing in combos. John also created a successful jazz festival three years ago on MSU-Billings’ campus, unifying many schools around the state and bringing in fantastic guest artists.
On a personal note, John has given me an outlet to learn and play Cuban and African music as well as providing me with a steady job with his band John Roberts y Pan Blanco. I have always wanted to learn and play this style, so for me this is a real treat.
It has been fun to get to know John over the years and I have learned a lot about music and what a good band leader looks like. I am quite pleased to be on John’s first release with my friends and other fine musicians. His album is done very professionally and creatively under the focus of blending Cuban, African, and American styles of music with musicians from Cuba, Africa, Argentine, Puerto Rico, L.A., and Montana. We are all trying to raise the bar and John certainly sets it high with his album and band. I know you won’t regret getting out and dancing this Friday at the Yellowstone Valley Brewing Co. as well as taking a copy ofSoul y Pimienta home with you. 6-8:00. 7$
I am very excited to be back at the "Winery" for another show. I have always been treated generously with wine, tips, a great time, and a fantastic listening crowd. It's a fantastic venue that exists on the Westend of Billings, MT and if you haven't been there yet-–this would be a great time to do so!
For the upcoming show I am glad to be playing with Erik Olson (piano/B3/saxophone) and Phillip Griffin (harmonies/bass/shakers). Erik and I have been playing music together in jazz and fusion settings for the last eight plus years when we started in the Ronnie Bedford and Friends group (Erik was still in highschool) together. Phil is a new addition to the Billings music scene, just recently graduating from UM with a philosophy and creative writing degree.
We will be playing a version of what I like to call "folk-jazz," which is a genre-first for both of us. It will mainly be original material and I will be playing guitar and singing. Usually we have a full band with us, but this time we are just going to give it a go as a trio and see what shakes out. I don't doubt it will be a blast and fun to listen to.
It will be free, on Friday, and from 7-9:00 P.M
To foreclose on on our emotional life out of a fear that the costs will be too high is to walk away from the very thing that gives purpose and meaning to living...Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity.
Brene Brown Daring Greatly
Vulnerability is scary to me and I am not alone. A big goal of mine over this last eight months or so is to slowly and carefully wade into the murky waters of vulnerability and be as aware as possible of how it all feels. It leaves me feeling raw and...yeah, I cry a lot, but I also feel more present and alive than ever. I like this part of my journey. Let's all be more vulnerable together, shall we! (?)
Why am I doing this event blog thing?
I have decided to try and keep two blogs rolling (slowly...Rolling very slowly). The intention of this one is to have it be about my random thoughts and not so random thoughts for upcoming shows that are meaningful and public. We shall see how it goes. Thanks for checking out my site.