Artist to Watch: Parker Millsap

Courtesy of Parker Milsap

Don’t let his boyish good looks and unassuming persona fool you—Parker Millsap is a soulful roots-rocker who doesn’t shy away from talking about the heavy stuff in life. He’s supported acts like Jason Isbell, Old Crow Medicine Show and Lake Street Dive, and his latest album The Very Last Day, is quickly becoming one of the most acclaimed country releases of the year.

The Guthrie, Oklahoma native found critical success with his self-titled album in 2014, when he was nominated for Emerging Artist of the Year at the Americana Music Awards at 21 years old.  His fiery vocals and bluesy guitar merge vintage rock-n-roll and gospel music to create energizing country music that is impossible not to dance to at least a little bit.

Millsap’s creative and thought-provoking lyrics are what elevate him from a talented musician to a true artist. He tells stories of the broken, the well-meaning but misguided and the desperate with a deep sense of empathy. He captures the turmoil of a moment, and knows that some of those moments can take a lifetime to work through. Even when writing about heavy issues like a crisis of faith or the end of the world, Millsap tells his stories in a playful way making his songs accessible but not cliché.

Parker Millsap finds a way to hold fear, excitement, love, jealousy, cynicism and hope all at once and deliver them through some extremely catchy tunes. In the process, he creates beautifully human songs that listeners of all backgrounds will appreciate, and a sound that country fans of all stripes will enjoy.

What he sounds like: A Southern Gothic mix of Jason Isbell and Elvis Presley who was a televangelist in a past life

Required listening: “Hades Pleads,” a blues-rock love song from the king of the underworld

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Artist to Watch: Parker Millsap