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Genres You Will Love
Country: Country Folk Folk: like Joni Folk: Modern Folk Moods: Solo Female Artist Moods: Type: Lyrical

By Location
United States - Alabama

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Abby Parks

There is a plethora of technical musical training in Alabama singer/songwriter Abby Parks' background. Years of formal education in everything from classical guitar and piano to composition and creative writing would seem to make an impressive resume for anyone wanting to delve into a music career. Impressive as it can be, true artisans of the musical craft always need that extra edge, and with Parks, that edge is a deep devotion to God, a burning desire to tell stories, and a fierce passion for music and performing that has fueled her fire long before she ever stepped into a classroom.

Born in Durham, North Carolina, Abby Parks developed an early interest in music by listening to the records her music-loving parents often played by legends such as Joni Mitchell, Fleetwood Mac, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, The Beatles, and Emmylou Harris. And she turned her ears to the radio where popular music of the seventies and eighties made a deep and lasting impression on her. A German classical guitar found its way into her hands at an early age, and another facet of her passion - writing poems and short stories - began to blossom. "My love of singing came first," Parks recalls. "My love of music was almost an obsession, and then the guitar...I love the instrument." The guitar prompted Parks' intensity to songwrite.

In her high school years, Abby Parks was further inspired by noted classical guitarist John Michael Talbot. Acknowledging that formal training could help her turn her music dreams into a career reality, Parks studied avidly at Colorado Christian and Jacksonville State Universities. She majored in classical guitar, with four years of study under highly respected professor Dr. Ken Johnson. Other studies included private training in composition, piano, and voice. She also enrolled in creative writing courses during high school and college, and achieved Bachelor's degrees in music performance and English.

Abby Parks is a woman of multiple passions and her love for performing also extends to the theater. She delved into theater with roles in legendary musicals including Fiddler On the Roof, The Fantastiks, Oklahoma, and Little Shop of Horrors. Parks' vocal prowess was also showcased in school and church choirs, as well as the acappella group Profile. With her natural vocal, musical and creative writing talents finely honed, she decided it was time to turn toward creating her own music. With songs germinating from her stories, poetry, and experiences living in Germany, Georgia, England and Colorado, Parks began to write with an intense fervor. She first began performing live, including a show at the 2000 Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow, Scotland. Eventually settling in the Anniston, Alabama area, Parks began performing across the Southeast in venues ranging from coffeehouses and churches to theaters, clubs and festivals. In 2005, she recorded and released her debut CD "Moving On". Her blend of Shawn Colvin and Caroline Aiken-like music was very well-received, garnering praise from the folk and singer/songwriter worlds.

Beyond her songwriting and performing career, Abby Parks is a private guitar teacher at the Donoho School. She is a member of both the Folk Alliance and the Roots Music Association, and over the years, she has also learned to play bass, mandolin and banjo. Her sophomore effort "The Homeplace", recorded at Huntsville's Sound Cell Recordings with Doug Jansen Smith (Take 6, Brian McKnight, Willie Nelson, Phil Collins), was a dream come true.

Parks had this to say about "The Homeplace": "Recording this second album "The Homeplace" was one of the biggest accomplishments of my career. I never thought I'd be working with someone as talented and knowledgeable as Doug Smith, and the production on this album is beyond what I would have hoped for. I tried to have a portion of my songs blend thematically, that theme being to tell tales of various individuals' lives in the rural South or small towns in general. Three of the songs - The Homeplace, Wild Dogs, and Lambert Road - were stories pulled from my own family history and especially dear to my heart. Other tracks such as Your Chantilly, The Only One Who Knows, and Kicking Dust Off Our Feet also fit the theme. Caves is an odd story, a cavewoman with agoraphobia, basically. I like to fancy that she was a Southern cavewoman (ha), but will leave that up for debate. As a singer/songwriter, you want your work to stand out and be a reflection of your own individuality. I am happy with this project because I feel I accomplished that goal, and I look forward to seeing if it stands up against the vast competition in the indie world."