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Graham Parker soldiers on

Boston, Scullers Jazz Club, March 26, 2009

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

Graham Parker remains on the irascible side, but more than three decades into his career, he has not lost his touch either for making good music. When he hit these shores from his native England in 1975, he was considered a pub rocker with great albums in "Howlin' Wind" and "Heat Treatment." He still puts out music, now considered more on the rootsy, sometimes even country side, although not with alarming frequency of yesteryear. The live gig is his main thing these days.

Parker often tours solo as he did on this evening mixing it up between acoustic and electric guitar.

By his third song of the 90-minute show, Parker reached back into his catalogue for Between You and Me. The music retains its catchiness even with Parker performing solo. What he also has done fortunately is alter the songs enough to keep probably himself and certainly his fans interested.

He reached way back into his catalogue for songs like the bouncy, fun Hotel Chambermaid and Heat Treatment, doing justice to everything he did.

Parker retains a sharp wit, bordering on the caustic. Yet, Parker also clearly is appreciative of his very enthusiastic fans (one fan reminded him that he was there for all 4 Parker shows at the nearby Paradise theatre in 1979, blowing out the power on one night) and the support they have given him (110 on this evening, a good turnout considering it was mid-week and not so widely publicized), enabling him to carry on.

The guy certainly can be funny, such as telling a story (whether true or not, who knows?) about meeting a couple of on a plane back to England. He made the "mistake" of telling them he was a musician. They asked who he was, and he said they'd never heard of him, telling the crowd he was sorry he said anything to them about his music. When he said his name, the couple named the main character in a book Parker wrote.

It would have been nice to hear Parker do more of his more recent songs, but no matter. It's still very comforting to hear a musician with edge soldiering on to the joy of his fans and himself.

©Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
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