Oklahoma native Parker Millsap is on pace to visit Music City this week with a string of shows that will place him in front of audiences at Music City Roots, The Bluebird and The Basement.
Catching up with Millsap on his birthday last week, as he just turned 21 years old, he also just released his latest self-titled album on Feb. 4 so the past month has been an exciting one for the artist.
“It’s a sigh of relief. It took awhile to get it out, but it’s starting to get recognition,” Millsap said about the album’s release.
The album was recorded in Norman, Okla. and produced by Wes Sharon who has worked with fellow Oklahoman John Fulbright and Turnpike Troubadours.
On his work, Millsap tackles subject matter that pushes the line on the ideas of the sinner and the saint, heaven and hell, and paints a perfect picture for the listener to deduct their own objective reasoning about the songs.
“I try to put myself in the shoes of what the song is about, try to see it from their perspective. Try and make it first person. In church, I grew up listening to different kinds of music. Gospel is where a lot of it springs from,” Millsap sad about writing on topics of religion and his approach.
Songs like “Old Time Religion” and “Truck Stop Gospel” shine as they represent the dichotomy that is evident in his craft.
In “Old Time Religion” Millsap writes about a King James Bible reading man who turns out to be a killer, while “Truck Stop Gospel” mixes in a story of a trucking evangelist and casting demons from a woman of the night.
“I like performing “Truckstop Gospel,” Millsap said about performing the new tracks live.
“For recording, my favorite was either ‘Forgive Me’ or ‘The Villain.’ We got to bring in horns and other arrangements and we got to have other people involved,” he added.
Growing up in the Pentecostal church, religion has always been on the singer’s mind as he has stated that he is never criticizing the church in his lyrics rather simply bringing to light the life in the given belief system.
“I already have a guilty conscience, which only gets magnified when you are brought up in that sort of environment, and it can do weird things to you. My songs show what happens to people when things go wrong within that belief system, and they are unable to handle it,” Millsap said.
For Millsap, he’s been on the road with some of the best in the genre like John Fullbright and now Hayes Carll. While these names are award-winning in the Americana genre, it appears as if Millsap has the ability to follow their footsteps in bringing his music to the masses and will be a name that people will hear for a long time.
“It’s an honor. I’ve known Fullbright for three or for years now. It’s like hanging out with friends. Ever since I was thirteen is when I decided that’s what I wanted to do. I’m now getting to the point,” Millsap said about playing with these artists and his aspirations for playing music.
While in Nashville, Millsap’s performance at Music City Roots will be on March 5 with a lineup that will also feature Hayes Carll, Blackie and The Rodeo Kings, and Josh Daniel & Friends.
His date at The Bluebird will be on March 6 and The Basement performance will be March 8 with Hayes Carll.