Peter Parcek was nominated for “Best New Artist” at this year’s Blues Music Awards. He’s returned with a brand-new 4-song EP of Bob Dylan interpretations called Pledging My Time. We talk to the New England guitarist about choosing which Dylan songs to cover, the sparse production of the album, and the unique “Name Your Price” approach he took to distributing his new music.
Peter Parcek – The Mathematics of Love (Vizztone) – CD review –
When most artists hit 60, their career is on the decline, but in Peter Parcek’s case, he’s just released his first national CD, the Mathematics of Love. He sets the bar pretty high with the opening track, a torrid cover of “Showbiz Blues” from Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac.
His slide guitar work is right up there with Green, and he bests the original in his meaty, distorted guitar tone. He immediately switches gears on the next cut, the brooding, acoustic title track, which Parcek penned (ironically, one of his previous jobs was as a school counselor). This isn’t your typical, run of the mill blues record. “Rollin’ With Zah” showcases some of Parcek’s best pyrotechnics. He gets help from legendary keyboardist Al Kooper on the instrumental take of Ray Charles “Busted.” To call that track a cover is somewhat misleading; the first half is faithful, but then things get way out there…it ends up turning into a psychedelic freakout.
Perhaps it comes with having soaked up so much in his years, but you can’t really peg Parcek’s guitar style: one moment, it’s straight blues, another minute, it’s rock n’ roll, still other times, he’s turning a jazz lick here and there, which keeps things interesting. It sure has taken him a long time, but with Mathematics of Love, it’s been well worth the wait. And, perhaps he’s given hope to all of us procrastinators. –Tony Peters
Guitarist Peter Parcek is what you might call a late bloomer. At 60 years old, he’s just released his first national release. Hailing from the New England area, his post-high school years were spent abroad, soaking up the British blues of Eric Clapton and Peter Green, and avoiding the Vietnam combat. Once things calmed down, Parcek returned to the States and took jobs as a school counselor and instrument salesman. A chance meeting with blues legend Pinetop Perkins resulted in Parcek leading Perkins’ band for awhile. After gaining more confidence, Parcek decided to strike out on his own. The Mathematics of Love, only his second solo album, showcases his varied style, something he calls “soul guitar.” He gets help from another legend, Al Kooper, on several of the tracks on the album. Click below for the Peter Parcek interview.