Sparky Parker Ignites a Blues-Rock Fire on New CD

Article Contributed by Mark Pucci Media | Published on Monday, August 19, 2019

Texas guitarist Sparky Parker announces a September 13 date for the self-release of his new CD, In the Dark, featuring 10 blistering blues-rock tracks that ably demonstrate why he is becoming one of the most talked-about performers in his Houston hometown. Watch the video trailer for the new album here:

Sparky Parker will celebrate the new disc with a special CD release party show on Friday, September 13, at Houston’s Big Easy Social and Pleasure Club, starting at 9:30pm.

Produced by Sparky Parker and recorded, mixed and mastered by Rock Romano at The Redshack Recording Studio in Houston, In the Dark showcases the Sparky Parker Band: Sparky Parker - guitars, vocals; Phillip Lock - bass, backing vocals; and Kevin Berry – drums, with additional keyboards/organ by William Gorman. The CD consists of seven original tunes, plus scintillating covers of songs by The Rolling Stones (“Dead Flowers”), Slim Harpo (“Shake Your Hips’) and Bobby “Blue” Bland, (“I Wouldn't Treat a Dog (The Way You Treated Me).”

The album’s original songs are packed with exciting flourishes and surprises. The wah-wah guitar rhythm on the title track, “In the Dark,” paired with hi-hat 16th notes, is a flashback to checkerboard dance floors and spinning disco balls. “This Old Thing” pumps a hard-driving back-beat on the verse that contrasts nicely to the smooth vocal harmonies on the chorus. In the Dark offers a variety of styles, keeping the listener on their toes,  whether it be the up-beat, southern twang and charm of “8 Days in the Doghouse,” or the slow ballad “Games,” reminiscent of the things that Guitar Slim used to do, or a wave of 60's surf guitar on the up-tempo instrumental, “Escape to Quintana.”

Eric “Sparky” Parker wears his Texas blues-rock guitarslinger credentials on his sleeve, possessing the grit, drive and talent needed to stand tall in the eternally-competitive Texas music scene. His guitar influences range from Stevie Ray Vaughan to seminal classic blues players such as Magic Sam and Albert King. Long-time Houston fans knew him as a young blues guitar prodigy, but Parker has grown far beyond that kind of simple label. He is now a triple threat who writes quality songs, sings with a feeling and plays with ferocity. With the release of In the Dark, those close to Parker feel that this album will break him to a larger, national audience.

Parker began playing professionally straight out of high school, cutting his teeth as a frontman with the rock band Bayou Monster and playing guitar in the blues band Mojofromopolis. He also joined the Houston rock band Funky Mustard, who he still plays with to this day. Parker went on to log road miles with Blues Music Award-winning artists Diunna Greenleaf and Vanessa Collier, playing important shows around the USA and Europe, including The Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise, The Blues Music Awards show and The Chicago Blues Festival, among dozens of other major music festivals.

He launched the Sparky Parker Band in 2012, a high-energy outfit whose debut album, Live in Houston, was captured live in the band’s hometown at Dan Electro's Guitar Bar. The trio format lets Parker dig deeply into his influences, which include Jimi Hendrix, The Allman Brothers Band, Texas and Chicago Blues, Classic Soul, R&B, and Classic Rock. The band is amped up to take the seven originals and three covers from the new record to the people and knows what it has to offer is tested and true.

Reviewers have compared Parker to Gary Clark Jr, Doyle Bramhall II, and Jonny Lang, but he creates intensely original music that never falls into the shadows of imitation. A shy and reserved person offstage, music has always been the best way for him to forge connections with other people. It’s how he tells his story and speaks his mind. That story will get a vital new chapter added onto it with the release of In the Dark, and the crowds on his live tour dates will finish the tale. Anyone interested in where the blues is heading in the modern era should discover Sparky Parker today.

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Additional Sparky Parker Band Tour Dates

10/12                     Katie’s Bar – 9:00pm                                                                       Bacliff, TX

10/19                     Green Oaks Tavern – 9pm                                                           Humble, TX

10/26                     Lone Star Blues & Heritage Festival                                          Grapeland, TX

11/1                       Home Sweet Farm – 8:30pm                                                       Brenham, TX

11/23                     The Heights Theater (opening for Coco Montoya)            Houston, TX