For Immediate Release
The Arts Council of Tuscaloosa
Contact: Kevin Ledgewood
GUITARIST WALTER PARKS FEATURED ON BAMA THEATRE’S ACOUSTIC NIGHT
(Tuscaloosa, Ala.) Guitarist Walter Parks will be featured on Acoustic Night on Oct. 9, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. Presented by The Arts Council of Tuscaloosa, the project features both solo and ensemble performances of a wide range of acoustic music throughout the calendar year in the intimate setting of the Bama Theatre’s Greensboro Room. Cover charge is $10 with a full service bar available.
Veteran blues and jazz guitarist Walter Parks has built an international career as the lead guitarist for the late Woodstock legend Richie Havens, as half of the folk-duo The Nudes and as leader of the neo-southern rock group Swamp Cabbage. Just as Georgia’s Okefenokee Swamp has served as the headwaters of Florida’s Suwanee River, it has served as the inspirational headwaters for Walter’s unique guitar concept – a banjo-esque fingerpicking style that toggles between expressing the swamp’s foggy, ambient underbelly and its eminent danger via the use of a modicum of pleasant distortion. Inspired by the sultry black gospel that wails from storefront churches and roadhouses in the American Southeast, Parks’ raspy vocal lows and soaring operatic falsetto explore the frontier of the modern human spirit in search of a place where it can flourish.
A native of Jacksonville, Fla., Parks notes that “classical music was offered in public schools when I was a kid,” and his music career began with studying the viola in the sixth through eighth grades. Parks eventually transitioned to the guitar and, in 1973, he formed his first music group. Playing Navy bases, country clubs, cotillions, DeMolay Halls and even church dances, the group called itself The Parental Tears Band. While his music projects might seem to be from opposite worlds, they all express elements of his diverse background and balance integral parts of his personality. A common thread through all of Parks’ projects is his use of non-traditional guitar chords inspired by the chord voicings of jazz pianists and steel guitar players.
With the release of “Walter Parks” on Judy Collins’ Wildflower Records in September 2010, he made his debut as a solo artist. At 55, writer of theme songs for HBO, Discovery Channel and film, Parks has played The Glastonbury Festival in the U.K., Carnegie Hall and Madison Square Garden.
Parks’ various music projects express both his diverse background as a musician and balance distinct parts of his personality. “I’m as comfortable with rural culture as I am with so called “high society.” I enjoy doing construction, chatting with locals and driving my Ford F-150 through the Georgia back woods, but I also enjoy throwing on a nice suit and taking in a New York museum.”
Visit www.walterparks.com/website or bamatheatre.org for more information.
The Bama Theatre is located at 600 Greensboro Avenue in Downtown Tuscaloosa. For more information about The Arts Council or Bama Theatre, patrons should like the Facebook page “The Arts Council – Bama Theatre – Cultural Arts Center” and follow tuscarts on Twitter. Call 205-758-5195 or visit tuscarts.org for further information.