Recording his new album live and straight to tape in three days, Dan Parsons’ eagerly anticipated follow up to Valleywood (nominated for Best Folk Roots Album, The Age Music Victoria Awards 2016), is scheduled for release in early 2018. As a singer/songwriter, Parsons conjures up the essence of troubadour folk rock and classic Americana influences, exploring the triumphs and anxieties of the human experience for the iPhone generation.
With his live band – Robin Waters (Ella Hooper, The Boat People) on keys, Alex O’Gorman (Big Smoke) on bass and Bree Hartley (Tracy McNeil & The GoodLife) on drums, Parsons’ sound rides through canyons, weaves across silver oceans, and launches into the interstellar…
“One of the pleasures of my role is keeping an eye on promising talent and seeing what is achieved with that raw material…Parsons delivers his best album with Valleywood.” Noel Mengel, The Courier Mail.
On his critically acclaimed third album, Valleywood, Parsons ability to connect as a performer has never been more apparent. Touring the USA as a hired gun for Kate Miller-Heidke, he traversed the well-worn trails of his Americana forebears via a clutch of solo sideshows and, with no band of his own, Parsons renewed his love of that paradoxical quality music has; allowing a single human being to sing to a room of strangers as if each of them is the only other person there. This quality is apparent in his songwriting, the hundreds of live shows he plays every year and, now more so than ever before, it is also at the core of his new album.
Most of these tracks were recorded by first capturing Parsons in a solo performance with other elements added later. This contrasts the vast majority of albums in which vocals and often lyrics are the last element to be added. It puts you in the room with him, tangled up thoughts finding sequence and purpose as they escape and dance, flame-like, darting from wall to wall to trace a geometry of intense conviction.
Parsons played drums, pedal steel, guitar and bass on half the tracks, one of the advantages of growing up an only child in rural Queensland with only a reel to reel fourtrack to talk to or torment. These skills have also kept him busy balancing his solo career with stints playing for like-minded artists such as Marlon Williams, Tracy McNeil, Darling James and Kate Miller-Heidke.
Valleywood was recorded with producer Robin Waters (The Boat People, Machine Translations, Ella Hooper) who also mixed Parsons self-recorded and self-titled second album (2013) and accompanied him for showcase performances in Los Angeles and a string of dates through the UK following the release of his debut album ‘Firestarter’ (2010).
In November 2015, Parsons travelled to Nashville, Tennessee for the Americana music conference to introduce his newest material to a US audience.
LISTEN / WATCH
SELECTED QUOTES / ACCOLADES
Noel Mengel / The Courier Mail (4 stars): “One of the pleasures of my role as a reviewer is keeping an eye on promising talent and seeing what is achieved with that raw material. Brisbane-raised, Melbourne-resident Parsons delivers his third and best album with Valleywood.”
Martin Jones, Rhythms Magazine: “Oh what a voice! Elegant, pure, unhurried.”
Tegan Louise / Beat Magazine (4 stars): “Parsons is one of the few artists that I will watch silently for an entire set as he is commanding with his vocals, lyrics and guitar mastery…Valleywood is his first flirtation with mainstream folk, and he brings a new accessibility to his sound without losing his original country style. Pasons’ vocals have an uncanny ability to make you feel as if you are his only focus and priority – a quality I’ve yet to see in another musician.”
Music Pickings: “Staggeringly beautiful, honest and pure.”
Kat Mahina / The AU Review: “Parsons projects the unabashed confidence of youth with the hindsight of a man who has lived a thousand lives. He is an integral artist whose music never ceases to delight.”
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