Cat Popper W/ Brian K & The Parkway "Straight Through" Video Premiere Today

Article Contributed by 37-Media | Published on Monday, February 26, 2024

Brian K. Pagels and Stephen Russ, the DC-area duo, Brian K & The Parkway, will release their second single, “Straight Through” featuring Cat Popper, known for her band Puss N Boots with Norah Jones and Sasha Dobson and for her work with Jack White, Ryan Adams, Willie Nelson, among others, who provides guest vocals on the track out March 1, 2024 – Pre-Save HERE.

Today, Glide Magazine is exclusively premiering the lyric video for the song – Watch it HERE.  It features footage of Pagels and Russ as they both meander through beautiful landscapes, hiking in Northern Virginia and Texas respectively, until they finally meet up. Says Pagels, “Although we were thousands of miles apart and in vastly different settings, we’re both trying to find our way straight through. In the end, we find each other, and it symbolizes our friendship which is a key theme of the song.”

Pagels, having been a fan of Cat Popper’s vocals since he first heard her sing on Ryan Adams & The Cardinals’ album Cold Roses, was floored when she said yes to singing on the track. “I was immediately struck and moved by her voice the first time I heard it,” says Pagels. So, when he found out she was working on releasing her own solo material, he decided to take a chance and reach out. “I filled out a form on her website and asked her if she would consider singing a duet with me,” says Pagels, thinking the message would go into a black hole of webforms. “Instead, she responded within an hour with ‘damn dude, I love this tune!,’” says Pagels. After emailing back and forth and talking on the phone “everything came really naturally from there, including the vocal arrangement which I was honored to lay out for Brian and Cat,” says Russ. “They both brought their own touch to it, Cat delivered an incredible vocal take, and that’s the magic you hear on the song.”  Adds Popper, “This song was so fun to sing on and was stuck in my head for weeks!”

Brian K & The Parkway released their debut single “Wind The Clock” January 12 – Listen HERE. On release day, Unrecorded named it a “best new track.” Mayhem Rockstar Magazine said it’s “…a light, infectious composition” while Alchemical Records says the song, “…really highlights this focus on songwriting and storytelling while embracing an energetic and uplifting musicality that is guitar driven, rooted in rock and roll…” “Wind The Clock” which opens with a lilting guitar riff and drum groove, is a commentary on tribalism and the extreme black and white thinking that has materialized in society today. The song offers a means to expel the frustration of it all while expressing a spirit of hope and solidarity with those actively fighting for a better world despite all the forces working against them. “I wanted it to be an anthem for ‘my people,’ those who value peacebuilding, justice, equality, democracy, and universal human rights,” says Pagels.

The duo are set to release their debut album, Killing The Bear, March 29, 2024. Most of the work on Killing The Bear was done by Pagels and Russ, but it was mastered by Justin Perkins (North Mississippi Allstars, The Replacements, Lydia Loveless), co-engineered by Zac Thomas at The Jam Room in Columbia, SC, and co-produced and mixed by Collin Derrick. The nine-song collection, a nod to the ‘70s rock sound of artists like Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, and Warren Zevon, is guitar-based, roots-oriented rock, infused with a healthy dose of soul and R&B. Piano and organ play a critical role in establishing the sound along with some horns thrown in for good measure. The duo dubs their sound “coastal heartland rock,” reflecting the fact that their major influences are artists that hail from coastal areas such as New Jersey, Florida, and California, but are known for their own mix of classic heartland rock.

Pagels and Russ formed Brian K & The Parkway in 2021. Pagels is from Springsteen’s hometown of Freehold, NJ, Russ is from the Carolinas, both share an innate connection to The Boss and are acutely inspired by him. Although the guys refer to the band name fondly as “very Jersey,” it denotes Pagels‘s name and the fact that The George Washington Memorial Parkway connects the route between their Northern Virginia homes; Pagels lives in Alexandria, Russ lives in Arlington.

Killing The Bear’s overarching theme is about our ever-increasing inability as humans to deal with the source of our problems and instead, look to surface-level, near-term solutions, and then declare immediate victory. The songs serve as vignettes about the things we do to cope, for better or worse. Now, with their debut coming, Brian K & The Parkway can’t wait to get out on the road to play it for audiences up and down the east coast beginning this March. They will be kicking off their east coast tour with a special all ages album release party at Jammin Java in Vienna, VA on March 29. Tickets are on sale now HERE. Additional dates below, including a stop in Brooklyn, NY with Diane Gentile. More dates to be added soon.


March 29 - Jammin Java, Vienna, VA – All ages album release show (With Cat Popper, Karen Jonas)

April 25 - Tin Roof, Charleston, SC

April 26 - Curiosity Coffee, Columbia, SC

April 27 - West Salem Public House, Winston-Salem, SC

April 28 - The Pinhook, Durham, NC

April 30 - The Camel, Richmond, VA

May 1 - Quarry House Tavern, Silver Springs, MD

May 2 - Fringe Bar, Philadelphia, PA

May 3 - The Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel, Asbury Park, NJ

May 4 - Faces Brewing, Boston, MA

May 5 - Sleepwalk, Brooklyn, NY (with Diane Gentile)