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Here is the latest edition of Behind the Music
Providing insight into what makes musicians tick, in their own words.
In this 13th edition we speak with songwriter and musician Jeff Parsons.
Where do you find continued inspiration?
Working with great musicians is always inspiring.
In the Loudhailer Electric Co I am fortunate to work with Rich and Lou Duffy-Howard, Rich Walker and Chris Heron, all great at what they do.
In Strawberry Moon I am also blessed to be working with Kelvin Baldwin and Dez and Cathy Allenby,
and in the Dark Secrets I have the honour of working with Kelvin, Rob Rybak and Phil Mulchinock.
That these people all are great at what they do is important, but beyond that is the fact that we get on well.
To me that’s more important than being great on your instrument. It’s the chemistry which makes a band.
What do you hope to achieve?
I live to create more music, so the fact that I released two albums in 2016 (with the Dark Secrets and Loudhailer Electric Co) is an achievement of which I’m proud.
This September I’ll be releasing another album with Strawberry Moon and I’ve also been working on a long-term project (twenty-plus years) with songwriter Paul Costello which will see another album release hopefully before the end of the year.
Playing live is a continuing thrill so to be able to work live and in the studio spells achievement for me.
And if people like it then so much the better!
What are your struggles?
I’ve reached a point in my life where I can concentrate a good amount of time into producing music.
I’m not as young as I was, obviously, but there’s not much I can do about that, apart from try to keep fit and well.
I am comfortable with my abilities and know my limitations.
That feels good.
Have you achieved what you want?
There’s always more to strive for!
So far I’ve been featured on albums with
- Dead Fingers Talk (in the seventies),
- the Dark Secrets,
- Loudhailer Electric Co,
- Mile High Club,
- Broken Orchestra,
- Strawberry Moon and
- on an upcoming release by Goole based musician Simon Raywood.
I have plans for more recording with Dark Secrets, my old band Arena, and a solo album.
How did you achieve your success?
I knew I would have to put in hard work.
I think that reality TV shows give people the idea that they can become a star overnight without much effort – this should be discouraged – it’s not the way forward!
You have to work at your craft.
A little luck comes in useful but it’s no substitute for your own effort!
Is there anything else you would like to share?
I played in my first band at the age of seventeen, back in 1969.
In 1975 I formed Dead Fingers Talk with Rocky Norton, Rob Eunson and Tony Carter.
In early 1978 we signed a three album deal with Pye, at the time a major record company. Our first album was produced by Mick Ronson and was critically well-received.
We worked on our second album with Steve Lillywhite producing but split before it could be released.
I’ve always played acoustic and electric guitar and in recent years have played bass on lots of my own recordings.
I like to be fully involved in my musical projects and always have contributions to make to arrangements.
I’m a songwriter and see my playing as secondary to this.
The exception is my work in Loudhailer Electric Co in which I am happy to be a sideman. This gives me a different type of canvas to work upon.
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