It’s been over a week since John Andrew Parks entered the North Okanagan in his bus towing a classic blue-boy Harley, safely snugged into its own mini trailer.
Stopping by Hubert’s Restaurant in Lumby to indulge in some of their famous red cabbage and lobster, Parks is in the valley after being on the road for almost a year on his U.S. tour.
And he is about to show locals why he is considered a legend in his own right, when he gives two performances, starting Saturday at the Killiney Beach Community Centre on the westside of Okanagan Lake.
Parks is described as a songwriter’s songwriter, a poet, and a storyteller. He is the man behind hits for such musical legends as Kenny Rogers, Marianne Faithful, Odetta, and Lynn Anderson.
As Rogers once said about his hit song Planet Texas, which Parks penned, on an NBC television special, “John Andrew Parks is one of the greatest singer/songwriters I’ve heard in 20 years, and whether or not you like this song you have never heard anything like it before.”
Signed by Bruce Lundvall, and given a record deal with Capitol Records where legends such as J.D. Souther, Billy Preston, Albert Lee, and Chris Spedding (The Beatles) are his music making sidemen and friends, Parks is said to be approachable, down to earth, likeable –– a true Texan with a sexy drawl and a story to tell.
His three-octave voice has been heard as far as China, where Parks was the headline act for a CCTV entertainment special that was broadcast to more than 600 million people.
He wrote and performed My Windows World specifically for the program, which tells the emotionally touching story of an orphan child with AIDS looking out his bedroom window, longing to be with the other children he sees playing outside.
Currently, Parks is forming a band with sideman Louis Ortega from the Texas Tornadoes, and is in preproduction for an album.
He is also enjoying the beauty of the Okanagan while on this current visit, said local resident and Juno nominated artist Nancy Nash, a.k.a. Sazacha Red Sky, who is promoting Parks performances while in the valley.
“He just meant to relax, catch his breath a little underneath our stellar starry skies and to gaze at the splendor of Okanagan Lake that lies vast to north and south beneath where he parked his rig, and to sample our excellent brands of red vino, but the listeners have other plans,” she said.
Parks will perform Saturday at the Killiney Beach Community Centre, located at 516 Udell Rd., at 7:30 p.m. All proceeds will go to the Rainbow Animal Shelter, which is operated by Nash. Admission is $10 (cash) at the door.
Another concert has been added for Friday, Oct. 7 at Lorenzo’s Café, east of Enderby. The show starts at 8 p.m. and reservations can be made by calling 250-838-6700.
More information on Parks is available at www.johnandrewparks.com.