June 2018 Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  June 6, 2018 

CONTACT: Karen Leipziger/KL Productions 

(615)297-4452, klpzgr@earthlink.net, karenleipziger@comcast.net 

Minneapolis-based Soul Blues singer/songwriter JOYANN PARKER Nominated for BluesBlast's "Sean Costello Rising Star" Award! 

Minneapolis-based soul blues singer/songwriter/guitar-keyboard player JOYANN PARKER has been nominated for Blues Blast Music Awards "Sean Costello Rising Star" Award. The Blues Blast Music Awards ceremonies will be held on September 29th, 2018 at the Tebala Event Center in Rockford, IL.  

"There’s some serious singing and musicianship afoot here…simmering...She’s got the pipes and comes across honestly and passionately. ... smoldering, slow-burning Stax-like ballads." (Jim Hynes/Elmore) 

"the next great Twin Cities blues singer...Imagine a sober Janis Joplin. And that's a good thing. Imagine a taller Shemekia Copeland...And that's a really good thing. There's pain in Parker's heart — and in just about every song she writes and sings. And, onstage, the grimace on her face, the clenched fists and the ache in her roar let listeners know that she knows hurt...Whatever she plays, Parker owns it." (Jon Bream/Minneapolis Star-Tribune) 

"some of the smokiest, smokingest green eyed soul you are going to encounter...Killer stuff throughout." (Chris Spector/Midwest Record) 

preview JOYANN PARKER's "HARD TO LOVE" at: https://soundcloud.com/joyannparker/sets/hard-to-love-demos/s-vAILn 

Produced by Parker with guitarist Mark Lamoine and bass player Michael Carvale, "HARD TO LOVE" features 13 songs co-written by Parker & Lamoine. Joining Joyann Parker (vocals/guitar/piano/trumpet in the studio are Mark Lamoine (guitar/bgv), Tim Wick (piano/organ), Michael Carvale (bass), Alec Tackmann (drums/percussion) and Gunhild Carling (horns on "Who, What, When, Where, Why"). 

On "HARD TO LOVE", Parker travels from the Memphis-style soul of “Envy” to the New Orleans-flavored “Ray.” The eminently danceable “Dizzy” inspires images of Motown’s Temptations and Four Tops dancing their signature choreography. The darkly simmering soul-blues ballad “Jigsaw Heart” finds Parker pondering where a rocky relationship is going. Singing with ever-present conviction, Parker asks more tough questions in "Who, What, When, Where, Why". Despite being an ultimatum to a lover, the Stax-meets-Motown throw-down is another of the album’s infectious dance tunes. Parker hits more targets with the primal, Robert Johnson-based “Take My Heart and Run” and Chuck Berry-inspired rock and roll of “What Happened to Me.” More revelations appear in the album’s title song, “Hard to Love.” Turning from roots music, Parker exploits her voice’s beauty and range most of all in the piano-accompanied title track -- a song in the melodic vein of the great American songbook. No matter what she's singing -- Joyann Parker's songs have an emotional honesty.  

A classically trained pianist with a degree in music from the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse, Parker sang in church and with a wedding band, until the blues/soul music 'discovered' her. Parker loves the music’s heartfelt honesty.  “I didn’t know anything about blues until about four years ago,” the Minneapolis-based singer, songwriter, band leader and multi-instrumentalist says. “But then it just clicked. I said, ‘This is what I am supposed to do.’ ” 

   
The door to blues and soul music opened almost accidentally. After singing Aretha Franklin’s soul classic, “Chain of Fools,” at a contest, Parker received an invitation to join a blues band. Accustomed to studying music formally, Parker immersed herself in the blues. “I started going to the blues jams in town, trying to figure out what it’s all about,” she says. “And that was it. It just clicked for me.” 

The following year, the band -- JOYANN PARKER & Sweet Tea -- won the Minnesota Blues Society's band competition and in 2015 went  to Memphis to represent the blues society and compete in the International Blues Challenge. That experience inspired her to write the songs that appear on "HARD TO LOVE". 

  
“After I went to the Stax Museum in Memphis, it was like somebody lit a fire under me,” she says. “I thought, ‘I love this music. I want to write it.’ I went home and wrote the songs.  

Every song Parker writes comes from the heart.  

“But they’re not all about me by any means. I believe part of being a songwriter is taking your story and weaving it with other people’s stories. Together, they make a good story. And I don’t write ‘Oh, baby, oh, baby’ lyrics. I can’t do that. I write songs that somebody, somewhere may hear and then say, ‘Oh. How does she know me?’ People always come see me after a show. I love that. When a song I wrote affects people’s lives, that’s great for the songwriter in me.” 

Parker is passionate about turning people on to the blues -- to experience the indigenous American music that’s been so influential on so much of the world’s music.  
“I’ve been performing for some younger crowds,” she says. “They say they don’t like blues. People in general say that. I tell them, ‘I think you do.’ And after I perform something for them, they say, ‘Oh. I love that song.’ I say, ‘That’s blues.’ Every kind of music they like comes from blues. The music in a restaurant, in a movie or TV soundtrack, there’s always a blues tune.” 

In addition, Parker and Lamoine recently launched a new show, The Music of Patsy Cline. She’d already been featuring songs by the classic country artist in the band’s shows. 

“Old-school country and blues are very close,” Parker says. “But when I listen to Patsy Cline, I hear a blues singer. She’s singing from her soul. Patsy said, ‘Hoss, if you can’t do it with feeling -- don’t.’ That’s how I feel." 

"sublime, passionate, sensual, gutteral, powerful, breathtaking, mesmerizing." (Peter Merritt, PBS 106.7) 

www.joyannparker.com 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, REVIEW COPIES OR TO ARRANGE AN INTERVIEW, PLEASE CONTACT: Karen Leipziger/KL Productions (615)297-4452, klpzgr@earthlink.net, karenleipziger@comcast.net 

SELECTED UPCOMING DATES/CD RELEASE SHOWS: 
FRI., JUNE 15, 2018 FLOYD'S BAR, Victoria, MN 
FRI., JUNE 22, 2018 AL'S CENTER SALOON, Center City, MN 
SAT., JUNE 23, 2018 TALLY'S DOCKSIDE, White Bear Lake, MN 
SAT., JUNE 30, 2018 NORTHWOODS BLUES FESTIVAL, Chippewa Falls, WI 
FRI., JULY 13, 2018 KNUCKLE DOWN SALOON, Madison, WI 
FRI., JULY 27, 2018 LEGACY OF THE LAKES MUSEUM - MUSIC IN THE GARDENS, Alexandria, MN 
SAT., JULY 28, 2018 HAPPY HARRY'S BLUES ON THE RED, Grand Forks, ND 
FRI., AUG. 17, 2018 SAINT PAUL SAINTS - Pre-Game Party and National Anthem, St. Paul, MN 
SAT., AUG. 18, 2018 NEW LONDON MUSIC FESTIVAL, New London, MN 
TUES., AUG. 21, 2018 TUESDAY NIGHT BLUES, Eau Claire, WI

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