Street Sounds: Kerry Park’s new album reviewed

Street Sounds: North Okanagan singer’s songwriting skills front and centre on new album

(Courtesy of Kerry Parks)

North Okanagan singer/songwriter/guitarist, Kerry Parks’ new album, Farther Along, is a warm and grainy solo recording with an intimate, roughed up character.

Parks’ skills at the craftsmanship of songwriting are pushed front and centre and his ease with folk/blues sounds are reflected in his easy going growl of a voice. Although Parks’ deceptively laconic delivery is laid back, his songs and wordplay are sharp and insightful. He embraces the atmosphere of the BC/ West Coast acoustic sound full on, adding his own resonance to its regional storytelling style.

This is a mix of commentary and conversation, with elements of political observation and some good times back-on- the- porch content. Some musical signposts of Parks’ style are John Prine and Bob Dylan (the “It Ain’t Me Babe” era) but Parks’ sound shifts further to the Canadian West with songs and sound that reflect landscapes and lifestyle, rural in spirit rather than urban.

As part of the folk/bluegrass/blues trio, Steel Wound, Parks has focussed on organic and traditional song styles with detectable elements of jazz, country and the early protest roots of North American folk. On “Further Along” he gets a little help from his friends Neil Fraser (guitar), Brian McMahon (bass) Paul Fisher (acoustic guitar) Steve Lauriault (harmonica), and Miles Black (Hammond organ). The team of musicians are sympathetic to Parks’ vibe and make his down home songs shine out.

Standout cuts on Farther Along are Reflection — a gently swaying song with mellowed out vocals and lovely guitar work; Pilgrims Plaint– a ringing track with reflective lyrics and traditional folk vibe with shades of early Dylan. There’s a gruff version of the ancient blues, Nobody’s Fault But Mine and Rx: Love: a sarcastically comic bit of wordplay on that subject.

Producers Andrew and Zachari Smith respond to Parks’ material with solidarity – their tasteful layering brings an extra texture to Parks’ comfortable voice and songs.

Dean Gordon-Smith is a Vernon-based musician who reviews the latest music releases in his column, Street Sounds, every Friday.

entertainment@vernonmorningstar.com

Just Posted

Lake Country Winter Blues Fest bigger and better in its second year

Organizer Ryan Donn says he’s already planning the 2019 edition

Reel Reviews: The Commuter arrives, but The Post delivers

We say, “The Post is taut and electric. The Commuter is clever.”

Street Sounds: Free funk grooves

Bahamas goes down a smooth, funky road on his fourth album, Earthtones

Vernon seniors accomodation society holds meeting

Abbeyfield Houses Society holds its annual general meeting Jan. 27

Okanagan woman’s generosity honoured

For Hazel Turchinetz, volunteering has always been about the animals

What’s happening

Find out about events happening in your community this weekend

Tychonik continues scoring run

Vees chalk up another win with Pink in the Rink

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

B.C. woman who forged husband’s will gets house arrest

Princeton Judge says Odelle Simmons did not benefit from her crime

Most Read