Anders Parker has been swerving all over the map, musically, for more than twenty years. He started out as the one-man band Varnaline with Man of Sin playing crunchy guitar rock, and since then he’s done electronica, acoustic folk, and guitar instrumentals, changing up his sound and staying out of a rut. Parker has expanded his palette with collaboration, too, working with Jay Farrar on the rootsy Gob Iron album, putting old Woody Guthrie lyrics to music with Farrar, Will Johnson, and Jim James with New Multitudes, playing duets with Anders & Kendall, playing with Space Needle, and serving as producer and sideman on Kris Delmhorst‘s Blood Test. He could have picked a lane and stuck with it, but that doesn’t interest him.
“I always feel like I have to do the thing that I’m most interested in at the time to make it compelling to me,” he said, sitting down in the front room of Boston’s Paradise Rock Club before his gig opening for Son Volt. “And hopefully, in turn, people will find it compelling, as well.”
Parker wrote his latest album, The Man Who Fell From Earth, in isolation of his country home in the Catskills. It’s serene and warm, just Parker and an acoustic guitar, accompanied in spots by a string trio and pedal steel. That night at the Paradise, the songs shone in their most simple form in Parker’s solo set. His haunting voice filled that room, floating to every corner. Son Volt was at their cleanest and most punchy.
We talked about the optimism in Parker’s music, his penchant for switching up styles, how the solitude of his home fosters his creativity, and about his various musical partners over the years. You’ll hear a bit of the new album at the end, where I’ll preview the song “High Flying Bird.”
After that, new comedy from Carmen Lynch with the first track from here latest album, Dance Like You Don’t Need the Money. Enjoy! Share! Subscribe! Rejoice!