Former Alcovy High School student and candidate of TVs The Voice released his new single “Slow Down Small Town” Friday, and the local country musician highlights his hometown.
The new song was released on iTunes and other digital formats, and is another step in an impressive music career that Parker has been building for several years. In addition to playing several shows throughout the years in and around Covington and Newton County, Parker has also taken his act to Nashville, where he now lives.
To truly understand Parker and his music, you have to understand his roots.
He grew up singing in church by the age of six. He says that by about the time he turned 13 he realized that music is what he wanted to do with his life. About a year later he figured he better learn to pick a guitar as well.
While working on his music, he was influenced by a few musicians, but the most important, Parker says, is his grandad — particularly his work ethic and desire to provide for his family.
Parker’s music influences are also hard workers such as Merel Haggard, who Parker paid tribute to in his performance of “Workin’ Man Blues” on The Voice.
Other influences of Parker’s include Waylon Jennings, Travis Tritt, Alan Jackson and Chris Stapleton. All that combines for a sound of a mix of classic 90s, and modern country. But not the pop-country sound that is so popular now.
With his Newton County roots, and influences from his hard-working grandad, Parker carries that background to Nashville. Parker usually attends a few songwriter showcases a month and couple of other shows here and there. Some of the venues he's regularly playing in Music City include The Whiskey Rhythm Saloon, the Tin Roof Bar, and he always plays the Whisky Jam every last Wednesday of the month. In addition to a part-time job as an X-ray technician, Parker tries to write music at least three or four times a week and is always working on a multitude of new songs. He's able to get feedback on these tunes from the shows he plays and also from several of his friends who are also practicing musicians.
Parker has been living in Nashville since September of last year and loves it, but he says it's always nice to come home. That is reflected in his newly released single. You may have heard it when he performed at The Social House in Porterdale recently.
“It was great,” Parker said. “It’s always good to be back home and see old friends and play some good music for them."
Parker usually tries to play at least one show in Newton County at least once a month or so, and will be back next May 7 at the Mystic Grill.
At the Grill Parker will most likely feature “Slow Down Small Town,” a song about Covington and some of its changes.
Parker first started writing the song in 2014 when he was in Los Angeles for a few months filming The Voice. When he returned, he noticed several changes and some new construction going. That got him thinking about how much faster paced Covington was and how much it had changed from when he was growing up. That's really the message of the song — things always change, sometimes we just wish it didn't have to.
You can follow Parker at Facebook.com/drewparkerofficial, or at @drewparkerplays on Twitter and Instagram.