Looking back over the breadth of Anders Parker’s two-decade career, there is little he has yet to accomplish or prove. The stylistic range encompassed by his Varnaline work alone is evidence of Parker’s determination to explore, illuminate, absorb and transcend every musical influence he’s experienced, from alt-country and raw folk to pastoral Americana and baroque art rock. And Parker’s catalog under his own name has been equally diverse, be it the transitional familiarity of 2004’s Tell It To The Dust or the ambient instrumental guitar wash of 2010’s Cross Latitudes. There’s A Bluebird In My Heart, Parker’s latest contribution, is a welcome return to his Varnaline/early-solo sound, perhaps in reaction to his recent experimental streak. Parker will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new review of There’s A Bluebird In My Heart.
Parker: I worked at Rhino Records in New Paltz, N.Y., in 1990. I was writing songs and playing in bands and generally soaking up all the music I could. One of my coworkers was about 10-15 years older than me, and we were talking about music and songwriters. He told me about two guys I had to know about. One was an English guy named Nick Drake, the other was a guy from Texas named Townes Van Zandt. He may have played a few songs on the stereo for me, I can’t recall. I walked over to the “folk” bin and picked out TVZ Live At The Old Quarter and ND Fruit Tree boxed set (yes, on LP). That was an auspicious week. I still go back to both of those guys.