Single review

Ian Parker

Ian Parker’s ‘Demons and Doubters’ EP is a vast difference from the material we are used to hearing from this talented singer-songwriter. Having been a regular contributor to the UK blues scene in his youth, and releasing four albums and two live DVDs all in the style of blues, Parker concluded this wasn’t for him and began to write and record the music he loved, disregarding his advisors who predicted it a bad move. Backed by a team of the very best – Clive Deamer on drums (Robert Plant, Portishead, Massive Attack), Billy Fuller on bass, Chris Eaton on slide and rhythm guitars, Morg Morgan on piano and produced by Jon Jacobs (who worked with Sir George Martin at Air Studios) – Ian Parker’s ‘Demons and Doubters’ is rather mesmerising from the get go. The opening song is ‘Winding River’, with a beautiful harmony in the chorus to match the captivating lyrics. Parker’s emotional voice carries on throughout the EP, as does the stunning acoustic sound and occasional hint of blues guitar playing. Where the first thirty seconds might decide that ‘Grow’ is another acoustic slow tempo love song, listening past this will certainly change your mind, because it really is quite exceptional and could easily be the best song on the EP. However, don’t be fooled into thinking you are getting five tracks of laid-back tempo acoustic guitar. This EP is out to create an alternative country feel, with a bluegrass twang to the vocals and the occasional harmonica exhibiting that Ian Parker can play much, much more than just blues. ‘Lovers and Friends’ kicks it up a notch with more blues style and a guitar solo that takes on a rockabilly tone, this song sees Parker’s musicianship at its best. ‘Lost’ is indeed lost on first listen, however the poignant vocals and pleasant music grows on you. ‘Keep Me Walking’ is perfect on this EP, and probably the most country style song of the lot. It’s hard not to smile upon hearing the lively beat and lyrics like “that girl got a way to keep me walking”. The country drawl vocals are the cherry on top of an excellent EP, and a fantastic debut of Ian Parker’s new sound. His full length album is due in summer 2010, and after this five track taster we won’t be hesitating to buy it, and see what else this songwriting genius has cooked up.