From The Desk Of Anders Parker: “Written In My Soul” By Bill Flanagan

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: I had a few years of saxophone lessons when I was in elementary school and some drum lessons later on, but on guitar and songwriting, I’m self taught. It can be a kind of lonely and mysterious road. I love it, but sometimes you’re out wandering in the dark wondering what the hell you’re trying to do and how to do it. I discovered Written In My Soul by Bill Flanagan after I had been writing for a little while. The book is a collection of interviews with many of the great songwriters from the ’60s to the ’80s: Dylan, Young, Mitchell, Jagger & Richards, Waits, Cohen, Costello, Petty, etc. It was reassuring to see that there are shared experiences in the writing. Many things that other writers expressed were things that I had thought and gone through, even at my formative stages. It was also interesting to read about the different ways people worked and thought about the process. I still pick up the book sometimes and read random parts of interviews.