Parker Macy Blues Band, Josh Berwanger Band, Robert Jon and The Wreck

Parker Macy Blues Band

When a music journalist is interviewing an emerging talent like guitar player, songwriter and singer Parker Macy, an almost mandatory and often revealing question is: Who are your biggest musical influences? That’s exactly what I asked the young Blues man in the spring of 2010 while sitting in a coffee shop in his hometown of Costa Mesa, California.

His answer was the cosmic super group of Edwards, Hopkins, Johnson and Young. The Reno, Nevada native first heard David “Honeyboy” Edwards on a vinyl record as a child. At the moment the youngster heard the old Delta Blues man, Macy’s path was set and his journey was under way. I asked the 25 year old musician how Edwards and Lightnin’ Hopkins and to a slightly lesser extent Robert Johnson had such an impact on him. Parker told me that it was “the emotion and feeling as well as the overall vibe” that took hold of his soul. The music and the art form that is the Blues grabbed Parker Macy and hasn’t let go.

Parker’s father, a fire and brimstone preacher, bestowed on his son one of the toughest lessons any parent can pass down to their children. He explained that Neil Young’s song Ohio described a real event and that the murders that took place at Kent State University on May 4, 1970 were not just an isolated gross misuse of power by our government but is a symptom of a much larger problem. The way in which Neil Young engaged this tragedy and used his art as a platform for expression was an epiphanic event for Parker. The power of the troubadour can be real. The problems we face as a society are real and Parker Macy, like the Blues is real.

Parker feels that Blues music is the best vehicle for him to communicate his thoughts and feelings on a variety of subjects. The young man who performs as Parker Macy Blues told me: “Being on stage is the only place where I can get people to shut up and listen to what I have to say.” For those who listen, they are in for an experience they will not soon forget.

Parker Macy’s two albums feature almost exclusively original songs. He performs his powerful music in a stripped down, acoustic setting that adds to the material’s intimacy yet enhances its power at the same time. Parker’s two fisted, bare knuckles approach to his performances is in the tradition of the old Blues masters but has a contemporary feel that has captured the attention of a new generation of fans.

Fire and brimstone can cut both ways. The award winning Parker Macy spins tales that are as large as the social and the geopolitical landscape and as personal yet no less vexing as the eternal mystery that is the dance between men and woman. You add whiskey and sex to that ballet and you are in for a wild ride. Parker Macy is a guitar slingin’ tour guide that will navigate your soul through a maze of hazards that will leave you breathless.

I can picture an interview taking place thirty years from now when the question is put to a talented, young musician as to their biggest musical influence. The answer might very well be: Parker Macy.

David Mac
Blues Junction Productions

Josh Berwanger Band

Josh Berwanger could easily be considered a veteran of the rock and roll wars. He first made a name for himself as a member of The Anniversary, a seminal Kansas band that released two glorious albums (2000's Designing a Nervous Breakdown and 2002's Your Majesty) and selling over 100,000 records before imploding in a breakup of Fleetwood Mac-style proportions while attempting to tour Japan. Undeterred, Berwanger put together a new band—a country-rock outfit called The Only Children–and would go on to release two criminally underrated records (2004's Change of Living and 2007's Keeper of Youth) before pulling the plug on that project and taking a job doing the next most logical thing possible– coaching high school basketball in Lawrence, Kansas.

Having experienced the highest highs and lowest lows involved with chasing his musical dreams for the better part of two decades, Berwanger found himself at a crossroads—should he finally hang up his guitar for good or should he soldier on, pulling together his best tunes and working with a group of friends to make the best music possible? Luckily, he chose the latter. "There's this part of me that really wants music to be normal again. I don't even know what I mean by that exactly, but I know what normal isn't—designer outfits, fireworks, crazy gimmicks. I don't know how to relate to that. I want to make rock and roll. I want to make something honest."

Robert Jon and The Wreck

Southern California natives Robert Jon & the Wreck, began their musical journey together in February 2011. Within the first 6 months of the birth of Robert Jon & the Wreck, they were out on the road for a 2 month national tour and released their debut album, Fire Started, which is a blues-heavy full-length album with a soft country feel and edgy classic-rock nuance. With two national tours under there belt playing from seattle, to Boston, to South Carolina, and everything in between the guys in Robert Jon & the Wreck, have seen the nation and have shared the stage with amazing acts. The bands nomination for “Best Live Band” in 2012 and making it to the Final round for the Orange County Music Awards, only helped them spring forward. They won’t be stopping anytime soon. The Band will be writing and recording at the first of the year for there second album, so keep your eyes and ears open. “Fire Started” is available on iTunes.



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