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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BREAKING: Protesters set up beside Vernon highway

The peaceful protest is in solidarty with Wet’suwet’en

Suspects wanted in attempted robbery of Vernon senior

Police are searching for man behind attempted assault last month

Mental health disorders, suicide on the rise among Okanagan students

The survey was conducted by the McCreary Centre Society in 2018

Okanagan youth drink, smoke and have sex more than anywhere else in B.C.

The survey was conducted by the McCreary Centre Society in 2018

Cyclist hit by semi truck in Vernon

Cyclist sustained non-life threatening injuries; police investigating

Swinging with the Stars: Team Crimson

Swinging with the Stars raises funds for the Central Okanagan Hospice Association

Princeton man hospitalized while facing charges in child sex abuse case

A Princeton man, accused in a child sex abuse case, was unable… Continue reading

Okanagan researchers fighting to keep Canadian wine thriving

Throughout their growth, grapes must survive a wide range of diseases before being made into wine.

Exclusive: Pamela Anderson talks plans for waterfront Ladysmith property after 12-day marriage

Anderson says she can pay her own bills. Peters denies making comments suggesting she can’t

Burger King breaks the mould with new advertising campaign

The company is known for irreverent ad campaigns

Maggie and Tim: B.C. residential school survivor turns to faith, forgiveness in mourning son

A young man’s tragic death and his mother’s survival through hardship

BREAKING: Protesters set up blockade on CP Rail tracks near Salmon Arm

Signs at protest site say in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en

RDOS hears concerns about 5G wireless technology

Potential safety concerns raised as communications technology expands

PHOTOS: RCMP call on kids to name latest police puppy recruits

This year’s theme is the letter ‘N,’ and 13 German shephards must be named

Most Read