Influenced by the sounds of 1960’s folk guitar, progressive rock and modal jazz, Henry Parker creates a modern sound from these archaic influences, writing songs that lyrically entwine landscapes, people and politics. Traditional folk music contributes strongly to his sound, whilst a distinctive finger-picked guitar style calls to mind players as diverse as Bert Jansch and Bill Frisell. Over the past four years that Henry has been performing live he has had the privilege of supporting many of his musical heroes including Wizz Jones, Michael Chapman, Bridget St John, Lau and Soft Machine. This cross over of folk and progressive rock is where much of his influence lies, informing his writing style and guitar playing. His debut album Silent Spring is set for release in July 2019, recorded by David Crickmore (Steve Tilston, Pete Coe) and featuring the phenomenal flute talents of Theo Travis (Soft Machine, Travis & Fripp, Gong). It is set to be one of the most exciting folk debuts of this year.
What is your background and how did you get into music ?
My background in music actually comes from growing up playing in heavy bands with my friends. I was playing in bands since the age of 14 or 15, playing mostly metal music. I caught the guitar playing bug when I was around 11 or 12 and since then it’s been rare that I have gone a day without playing the guitar for a few hours. My turn towards the folkier side of music came when I was at Uni studying music. I was turned on to music of Martin Simpson and it completely blew my mind, knowing that you could play acoustic guitar LIKE THAT! I saw him play at the Hebden Bridge Trades Club and it was one of the most powerful gigs I had, and still have ever seen.
Who is your favourite artist? If you have more say who they are and why?
I would have to say Bert Jansch for his innovation and exploration within the realms of acoustic music. From his raw and bluesy early albums to his progressive instrumental album Avocet, he has created such a breadth of amazing music. His guitar playing was and still is, out there, he had a completely different approach to most of his contemporaries and it remains massively exciting in the 21st Century.
How would you describe your music ?
Folk music that encompasses aspects of the traditional, progressive, psych and rock sides of the wider genre.
What have you been working on ? Tell us about your album?
For the past year I have been recording my debut album with David Crickmore. It is finally finished and ready for pressing! It’s incredibly exciting, I have friends playing double bass and percussion on the record and I have the extremely talented Theo Travis of Soft Machine and King Crimson playing flute on three tracks also! The album is going to be released on the 13th July and I’m doing an album launch that night in Keighley at the Exchange Arts Centre. Please come along and grab an LP.
What advice would you give performers starting out?
Don’t be afraid to experiment. Stop playing the same covers as everyone else does. Practice as much as you can at home before stepping out there. Dig the music
“Henry Parker has a beautifully clear and precise finger picking acoustic guitar style…this isn’t background folk club music, or filler, it’s quite simply gorgeous.” – FATEA
“A gifted young guitar player who has been impressing local audiences with his dexterity and choice of material” - Tykes News
“A really excellent young guitarist/ songwriter” – Steve Tilston “Bloody excellent” - Wizz Jones
See Henry Parker play at the Hebden Folk Roots Festival this year on May 11th at Lunchtime Live, Hope Baptist Chapel. Tickets are available for the weekend festival here http://www.hebdenfolkroots.org