Peter Parcek review….November 9, 2017….

PETER PARCEK

EVERYBODY WANTS TO GO TO HEAVEN

LIGHTNIN RECORDS  002

WORLD KEEP ON TURNING–SEE THAT MY GRAVE IS KEPT CLEAN–PAT HARE–ASHES TO ASHES–EVERY DROP OF RAIN–SHIVER–THINGS FALL APART–EVERYBODY WANTS TO GO TO HEAVEN–MISSISSIPPI SUITCASE–AUNT CAROLINE DYER BLUES

Peter Parcek has long been one of our favorite bluesmen.  Now based out of New England, Peter got his start in the clubs of London in the Sixties, when blues-rock was just beginning to take root and spread “across the pond.”  It’s been seven years too long since his last album, the highly-acclaimed “Mathematics Of Love” from 2010.  He’s back with a new release, “Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven,” on Lightnin’ Records.  Peter’s sound has always been rooted in not only contemporary blues, but the sounds of the Delta and masters of the history of the genre’ as well.  This collection touches on all his influences, with even a nod to the jug band sounds from the 1920’s and 1930’s.  He’s assembled a stellar group of backing musicians, including Luther Dickinson on guitar on four cuts, Muscle Shoals legend Spooner Oldham on keys, Willie Nelson’s go-to harp man, Mickey Raphael, and the McCrary Sisters on backing vocals, and several others.

Of the cuts herein–six originals and four covers, produced by Marco Giovino— most have a dark, brooding thread running thru them, adding to the Delta ambience.  Starting off is Peter’s take on a cut by another Peter—Green, from early Fleetwood Mac.  and the socially-conscious “World Keep On Turning,” done here with a decided Hendrix-ian feel. Peter’s read of “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean” and the title cut, are rather reverential in nature, each full of one dazzling guitar break after another.  Peter’s original, “Things Fall Apart,” dealing0 with a relationship facing the inevitabilities of aging, is set over a surprisingly-sprightly, rockabilly groove.

There are three instrumental originals that show off Peter’s incredible skills, none more full of spunk than “Pat Hare.”  For the uninitiated, Pat Hare was the guitarist on many of James Cotton’s Sun sides from Memphis, and his distorted playing would influence a generation or more of six-string benders.  Adding to the 706 Union Ave. feel of this one is Raphael’s harp work, too.  Fiddles and a nod to the old-time jug band sounds in “Aunt Caroline Dyer Blues” served as our other favorite, as Peter sings the tale of a fortune teller and her penchant for mojos!

Peter Parcek has parlayed his love for the blues with all-world guitar skills and vocals that mix the blues of the masters with his own brand of tasty contemporary fare, with the stellar “Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven.”  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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