From The Desk Of Anders Parker: Wormwood

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 all week. Read our brand new review of There’s A Bluebird In My Heart.


Parker: My friend Creston Lea builds electric guitars in Burlington, Vt. I brought him a piece of wood from a barn on the property where I grew up in LaGrange, N.Y., that dates to the 1850s. Creston turned that piece of wood into the Wormwood. The guitar has a Fender Telecaster shaped body, a cheap-o P90 in the bridge position, a rewound Fender Wide Range Humbucker in the neck position and a Bigsby B5 tremolo bar. He made a metal pick guard,which changes as I sweat on and play it. This guitar is a piece of art. It’s old, it’s new, it’s ageless. It’s decomposing and changing day to day. It plays easily and somehow stays in tune no matter what I do to it. I can conjure all sorts of sounds from those two simple pickups and a few knobs. It’s my main ride.