Graham Parker Finally Ventures South Again

It’s been 17 years since our last visit with Mr. Parker – time flies when you’re having fun

More crazy tour threads were woven today when I was checking up on Midge Ure and saw that he was playing solo acoustic at the Atlanta City Winery on June 1st.  I was not going to travel for that, but it’s an indication of how my attitudes have changed on Mr. Ure that I’d certainly make the time of he were to play in that fashion in my city. That got me wondering… who else was playing that establishment? And I saw that Graham Parker was there on May 13th. Basically, the same weekend as our anniversary. I floated the notion to my wife and she was ready to go.

Yow! It’s been 17 years since my wife and I have enjoyed a Graham Parker concert, but often were the times that we had been pining for one. Every time we play a Parker CD we can’t help but want that. I have 19 Parker discs in the Record Cell and I’m happy with the notion of owning all of them. His songwriting point of view is so distinct and accomplished, how could we not? I’d check his website for tour dates, which, more often than not, saw him sticking close to his native upstate New York climes. His shows of the last 20 years had been largely solo acoustic events, like the first time we saw him in Orlando in the late 90s, but the 2001 tour for the excellent “Deepcut To Nowhere” album was with the band The Figgs, backing onstage. We chatted with the not-at-all-truculent Parker afterward and discussed which Jacksonville, Florida club had been the impetus for “I’ll Never Play Jacksonville Again.”

In 2012, he gathered up The Rumour and produced two albums with them for the first time in over 30 years, “Three Chords Good” and “Mystery Glue.” I thought for certain that the added commercial oomph of the full Graham Parker + The Rumour machine might see him touring more widely and in our regions… but I was wrong. Most of the modern GP + The Rumour tour dates seemed to be in England, actually. So we have been waiting patiently until now for a chance at the man playing live. This is a solo set, and it’ll probably be acoustic, but I’m fine with that. After all, it’s the songs themselves, not their production style, that hold all the power in Parker’s oeuvre.

Graham Parker | Alone In America [Again] US Tour | 2018

April 26 | Bordentown, NJ | Randy Now’s Man Cave (SOLD OUT)
April 27 | Piermont, NY | The Turning Point
April 28 | Bay Shore, NY | YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts
May 3 | Bordentown, NJ | Randy Now’s Man Cave (NEW SHOW ADDED)
May 4 | Pawling, NY | Daryl’s House
May 5 | Boston, MA | City Winery
May 7 | New York City, NY | City Winery (SOLD OUT – NEW SHOW ADDED)
May 8 | Washington, DC | City Winery
May 10 | Chicago, IL | City Winery
May 12 | Nashville, TN | City Winery
May 13 | Atlanta, GA | City Winery
May 17 | Tuckerton, NJ | Lizzie Rose Music Room
May 21 | New York City, NY | City Winery
June 2 | Norfolk, CT | Infinity Hall Music Hall and Bistro
July 22 | Nicollet Mall, MN | Brit’s Pub

As we can see, a couple of the dates have already sold out, and the Atlanta tickets were almost gone when my wife made a bee-line for the website, so if you’re up for some potent songwriting and the considerable presence of Parker, act accordingly. Most of the dates were a tour of the City Winery chain, founded by Michael Dorf. Dorf came to fame with his first club, The Knitting Factory. Having seen Ure there at the Nashville location last year, I can vouch that these venues were certainly built for comfort. Join us later for the inevitable review.

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About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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8 Responses to Graham Parker Finally Ventures South Again

  1. Tim says:

    You have my curiousity engaged. As someone with zero Graham Parker product in my cell where would you suggest that I start?


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Tim – That a tough one. I like them all. Many rate “Squeezing Out Sparks” a best of breed album. While I like it a lot, a can’t say I’d take it to a desert island over the sprawling, verbose, and flat-out Dylanesque “Struck By Lightning” or the well balanced “Deepcut To Nowhere.” Most Parker fans might think me daft for holding a candle to the atypical “Lightning” and I find it’s particularly idiosyncratic in his largely homogenous catalog. So I guess the latter is a good bet. There are a good balance of wise or tender observances, sardonic attacks, self-deprecating humor, and steely-eyed reflections. Imagine the mind of Elvis Costello focused more laser like on crafting a blend of rock and soul with slight excursions to acerbic country music instead of trying every genre under the sun. And often failing. In comparison, Parker has less attempted range but never flops to these ears.


    • SimonH says:

      Try the Rhino 2 cd anthology, nice selection that goes as far as the early 90s. Great mastering as well, in my view.


  2. SimonH says:

    Don’t worry your 19 discs beats me by a long way! I want them all but the wants list is,of course, always long…


  3. Hereismike1 says:

    Did you review the show you saw? I had tickets for the Chicago gig but then something happened and I was unfortunately unable to attend…..the online set lists look great for this tour too!


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Hereismike1 – Welcome to the comments! Yes, I posted that last week here. Full setlist included. Too bad you missed him in Chicago, but this tour was based on the City Winery chain of venues, and as far as I could tell, the shows were very well attended. Atlanta was almost sold out, and others did sell out, so look for this to happen again. Hopefully, you’ll make the gig next time. I really appreciate how the City Winery chain manages to give artists like Graham Parker a framework to build a tour on with performers “connecting the dots” between the six City Winery venues to mount decent length tours covering a wide range of territory. Parker has tended to stick around his region of upstate New York for gigging, but this lifeline of venues saw him venturing to Atlanta for the first time since 2003 and I strongly approve. That the venues and service are really nice and the ticket prices are not gougingly steep [our Atlanta seats were just $22] makes me appreciate the City Winery vision.


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