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Meet Georgia Parker

Today we’d like to introduce you to Georgia Parker.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
Neither of my parents were musicians, but my brother and I definitely grew up surrounded by music. Both of our grandparents played, and every year our parents would take us out to the Kerrville Folk Festival in Kerrville, Texas where we would spend days being inundated with folk music. My older brother started playing guitar when he was a teenager and therefore spent all his free time with other musicians. When I was about 20 years old, he got into playing bluegrass music. Him and his friends would meet often to “pick tunes,” but they never had a bassist to join them. So, one day, my brother picked up the upright bass that had been sitting as decoration in my moms living room for years and told me I needed to play it. I started one song at a time to learn how to follow the band, and before I knew it, I had joined a bluegrass band and was going to go out on tour. I dropped out of Austin Community College to hit the road with this band. I traveled and played with that band for about six months. After that, I lived in Austin for about three more years playing with anyone and everyone that needed an upright bassist. Sometime I would play 2-3 shows in a day and played almost every day of the week. It was certainly trial by fire. I never thought I would play music for a living, and I never thought I would be any good at the upright, but there I was completely absorbed by it. When I was younger, I listened to a lot of jazz and then later discovered western swing, and completely fell in love with it. I had, up until this point, assumed I could never be a good enough musician to keep up with these genres. It took me years to find people playing western swing, but when I did, I jumped right in. It was around this time that I picked up a guitar and started learning all the swing chords needed to keep up with the jazz standards and western swing tunes. I was hooked, and have been practicing western swing ever since then. I now have a western swing trio called Big Cedar Fever. We tour all across the country and even won an award this year for Western Swing Band of 2019 through the Ameripolitan Award Productions. I’ve been a full time performing musician ever since I dropped out of community college at 21 years old. I’ve lived in my car, at my mom’s house, on friends couched, and have never regretted any of it. I’m now a happy homeowner and eat three meals a day!

Please tell us about your art.
I love making western swing music. It’s so steeped in the old school Texas tradition of Saturday night dances at old wooden dance halls. It has a really special way of bringing people together and making people happy. I’ve seen folks who are from different generations and have nothing in common politically come together to enjoy western swing. Whether you were there on not, it’s hard not to feel the nostalgia from the style. It makes me really happy to keep these old songs alive by sharing them with new people. Myself and my bandmates all write songs as well. It isn’t easy to write a new song that is relevant to your own life while also disguising it under the filter of 40s western swing music. It’s a challenge and a ton of fun!

When people listen to my music, I hope for a brief moment life becomes simple again, and we can all just be present and happy in each others company.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing artists today?
Competing with pop radio, feeling obligated to post your music online to stream for free, trying to stand out among the sea of artists around the country, and reckless drivers.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
Bigcedarfever.com

georgiaparkermusic.com/artwork

Facebook and Instagram: big cedar fever or Georgia Parker

The music world is changing a lot all the time, there’s less money in music sales now that everything can be streamed online. Please take time to host touring bands, go to their shows, invite a friend, clap for their songs, dance, buy merchandise, and encourage them to keep doing what they do. It isn’t easy out there on the road, but it’s what we have and it means the world to us!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Megan Laprelle, Mike Fruit, A Shot Of Honkytonk, artwork by Georgia Parker

Getting in touch: VoyageHouston is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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