Mike Parrish | What a Country Boy Knows

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What a Country Boy Knows

by Mike Parrish

Southern Rock and Texas Blues shape the boundaries of this not-so-traditional Country collection.
Genre: Country: Country Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Just as Blue (As Your Lyin' Eyes)
4:04 $0.99
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2. Black Gold
4:17 $0.99
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3. The Best in Me
4:12 $0.99
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4. Time for Another Beer
4:34 $0.99
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5. That's What a Country Boy Knows
3:36 $0.99
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6. Southbound Train
3:46 $0.99
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7. Dyin' Town
3:43 $0.99
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8. She's Easy Lovin' (All the Time)
3:45 $0.99
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9. When Angels Cry
4:30 $0.99
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10. Time to Say Goodbye
3:54 $0.99
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11. One Stoplight
3:44 $0.99
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12. Back to You
4:43 $0.99
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13. Blue Jean Baby
2:58 $0.99
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14. Texas in the Man
3:13 $0.99
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15. Call Me Billy the Kid
3:38 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Mike Parrish began building this album in 2009 when he recorded "Back to You," a tune that may be best defined as a Texas Country / Southern Rock piece. "Back to You" has a Bob Seger(ish) "Main Street" feel musically with John Denver(ish) vocal overtones (if you can wrap your head around that concept). It's a song about searching for that certain something, loneliness and the call of the open road, wanderlust and hope and, of course, love. Great guitars with creative lyrics and cool southern rock style backing vocals make this track an awesome highway song, however, at the time this track was written, Mike had no idea that it would become the number 12 song on his album "What a Country Boy Knows." In fact, for a while, he had no idea that he was writing a new album at all. The song was filed away for a while as Mike began work on other songs.

"When Angels Cry," the 9th track of this album, is the story of a young lady who became entangled in a web of lies and experiences the loss of a great love. Lyrically, it's a traditional cheatin' song performed in a style reminiscent of 3 Doors Down or maybe hinting of the influences of the Red Dirt Country sounds of one of Mike's favorite Texas Country groups, Reckless Kelly. With it's cool rock rhythm and harmonized lead guitars spiced by life-long friend and music partner Sammy Hundley, Mike opted to release this track in digital format only, to European Radio, in late 2010 through Triplestrand Productions as a test drive to get a feel of what his tunes may be capable of doing. He was pleased to see that "When Angels Cry" immediately sailed to the European Country Music Association Charts and landed a spot on the European Top 100 at the same time Nashville Super Star Blake Shelton was on the same chart with his track "Who Are You When I'm Not Looking." It was the first time Mike had seen one of his songs listed among the modern country elite. Names like Toby Keith, Taylor Swift and a host of others were above and below "When Angels Cry" on the chart. It was a great feeling and set the bar for tunes that would follow.

"Black Gold," the number 2 track on the album, is a gritty Texas Country Rocker with slick guitars and an upbeat tempo proudly proclaiming "oil field trash" roots while telling the story of a boy who found his way into a better life, the life a father would dream his son to have. The Parrish-Hundley Band, Texas Music Award Nominee for Best Live Band of the Year, features Mike Parrish and Sammy Hundley, who are both natives of Southeast Texas and both born into families who worked the oil fields of the Southern U.S. Their fathers knew most every aspect of the oil industry and spent years drilling holes in the ground to bring forth the precious resource commonly known as "Black Gold."

It's a seriously difficult way to earn a living but it was a way of life for the Parrish and Hundley households. Gone before dawn and home after dark just in time for a bath, supper and bed before repeating that cycle again and again, for years and years to come. Their wasn't much reward for the roustabouts and roughnecks or even the drillers or the "company men" (those men in charge of the drilling crew). They were either drilling a hole, going into a hole, coming out of a hole or moving to another location. The hours were long, the heat and cold were savage and if you were a roughneck you worked from can to can't, sick or hurt or both or you didn't make a paycheck.

Mike and Sammy both did short stints in the oilfields in their younger days. Both worked on drilling or work-over rigs or repairing and reworking oil tools which were rented to oilfield companies. Mike drove a "hot shot" truck delivering oil tools such as elevators, drill spools, blowout preventers and so forth out to drilling locations all over Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Oklahoma. Later, Mike drove an 18-wheeler, a vacuum truck delivering drill mud to rig locations or pulling salt water from completed wells. Both boys knew that their fathers never intended to have them follow in their footsteps because they wanted something better for their sons just as all good fathers want a better life for their children. Even with that sentiment in mind, both boys took their shot in the oil business and soon realized that their fathers were right. Just because you were born into a family who made a living in the oil fields didn't mean you were stuck there for life.

Mike and Sammy both share a deep respect for the men and women who make their living in the oil industry and will quickly inform those who may be unaware that a life in the oil field is a very demanding and dangerous way to make a living.

Mike Parrish wrote the song "Black Gold" in 2009 and the band recorded it in 2010 to be released on their duo album entitled "Southbound Train." It's an upbeat Texas Country rocker about a boy who "grew up with the rhythm of the pump jacks pumping out Black Gold." The song refers to oil as if it's an enticing, wicked woman who will draw you in and once you're a member of the working class oil field roughneck community then she wouldn't ever let you go. "Ebony devil of the South Land, wicked woman will steal your soul."

"Black Gold" tells the story of a boy who was "born to a family of roughnecks" and how they were referred to as "oilfield trash." An experience that Mike will never forget. He recalls how his family moved from one town to another and how he'd often heard the term "oilfield trash" as a child as well as how he came to realize that these shop keepers and store owners were referring to him and his family. That was hurtful but it was one of the things that helped bring about the deep admiration for the hard working and under-appreciated members of the OFT (Oil Field Trash) community.

The song goes on to talk about how the dad wants a better life for his son and practically puts him, his guitar and songbook on an "east bound Greyhound" in search of his dream.

"There's a lot of truth in this song and comfort in the fact that no one is born to a predetermined destiny whether they come from coal mining families, logging families or oil field families. There's absolutely nothing wrong with being the best you can be in any one or all of those industries but there's nothing written that says you've got no way out if you'd rather do something else," said Mike Parrish about Black Gold. "I'm proud to be just plain ol' oil field trash and deep down that's probably all I'll ever be. But that was good enough for my dad and good enough for both of my grandfathers and all of them were great men. I hold the same respect for Sammy's father, my uncles and great uncles. Good men every one."

Mike did remove himself from the oil field, as urged by his parents, and became a Texas Peace Officer where he was appointed police chief three times in two separate law enforcement agencies and elected Constable once. Sammy worked in optometry and found his way into the music industry at a relatively young age. It wasn't until 2006 when Mike and Sammy came together to fulfill a lifelong dream of making music together and "Black Gold" is just one of the tunes you'll find them performing with their group PHB or Parrish-Hundley Band, the Parrish-Hundley Acoustic Duo, or both solo acts. Mike often remarked jokingly that they thought about calling the band "Hundley-Parrish" but that sounded too much like a place in Louisiana that no one would probably want to visit.

The final track on the album is entitled "Call Me Billy the Kid." It's raw and rawkish (if there is such a term) and recording was completed on the morning of Billy the Kid's 151st birthday. To Mike's knowledge, it's the only ode to the infamous and notorious New Mexico outlaw that is done in first person - just as if William Bonney was singing the song himself. Mike admits that this song may never be ready for prime time radio because it's really rough around the edges but it's just too much fun to perform to leave off the album. The southern rock foundation and Allman Brothers feel screams with outlaw attitude and the recklessness of a wasted life forever chiseled into the history pages of the American West. Oddly, the outlaw song was written by a veteran Texas Peace Officer who had indeed bagged his share of bad guys and Mike surmises that this may be the very key to why the tune was so appealing that he (in the words of one of Mike's influences David Allan Coe) "felt obliged to include it on this album."

The album unfolded over the next two years with passion and irony. For instance, the digital release of "When Angels Cry" landed on the European Top 100 Charts with Blake Shelton's tune. Ironically, Mike had the distinct pleasure of recording "Dyin' Town," "She's Easy Lovin' (All the Time)," and "One Stoplight" with Frank Debretti on lead guitar. Frank toured with Blake Shelton for a number of years and is a complete master of the guitar in every sense of the term. "Frankie Debretti is the kind of player who knows how to complete a song, he gives it the extra punch and it's always a sheer pleasure to perform with him and Sammy." Frank Debretti also toured with Mindy McCready, SheDaisey, Duran Duran, Seal just to name a few. A very talented musician and an extremely personable fellow. "You just can't help but love Frank both on and off stage."

Other players include Kurt Baumer on fiddle. Kurt toured with Nashville's Lonestar for five years as their fiddle man so it was indeed an honor to have Kurt laying fiddle tracks on "Just As Blue (As Your Lyin' Eyes)," "The Best In Me," and "One Stoplight." Phil Dalmolin, an awesome San Antonio based drummer, laid the foundation for "Just As Blue (As Your Lyin' Eyes)," "Time For Another Beer," "That's What A Country Boy Knows," "Dyin' Town," "She's Easy Lovin' (All The Time), and "Time To Say Goodbye." Phil toured with the Dixie Chicks and a host of other bands but his awesome talents really sparked excitement and made all the tracks he appears on just come to life. Tommy Detamore, one of the most sought after steel guitar players in Texas Country has played with some of the greatest bands around and Nashville's Kevin Fowler, a Texas Country favorite, certainly comes to mind. Tommy can be heard on "Just As Blue (As Your Lyin' Eyes)," She's Easy Lovin' (All The Time)," and "Time to Say Goodbye. Alan Dossett of Houston's "The Ruse" lends his drum and percussion talents to "The Best In Me," "Southbound Train," "Blue Jean Baby," "Texas in the Man," and "Call Me Billy the Kid." Canadian based Harmonica player Roly Platt can be heard on the blues rock track "Southbound Train."

"Blue Jean Baby" and "Texas in the Man" are re-releases from Mike's 2007 album "Texas in the Man." These tracks garnered effigy awards in the 2008 and 2009 International Fame Games Radio Show Awards for Most Popular Artist and Best Blues Rock Artist. Mike believe's that it was also these two tracks that grabbed an Academy of Texas Music nomination for the 2010 Texas Music Awards for Best Live Band of the Year.

The players are as follows;
Mike Parrish (Songwriter - Lead Vocals - Rhythm Guitar - Lead Guitar - Harmonica)
Sammy Hundley (Songwriter - Lead Vocals - Bass Guitar - Rhythm Guitar - Lead Guitar - Slide Guitar)
Alan Dossett (Drums & Percussion)
Phil Dalmolin (Drums & Percussion)
Frank Debretti (Lead Guitar)
Tommy Detamore (Steel Guitar)
Kurt Baumer (Fiddle)
Roly Platt (Harmonica)

Sammy Hundley appears as co-writer and lead vocalist on Texas in the Man as well as lead vocalist on Southbound Train.

The album was produced by Mike Parrish. Back to You, Black Gold and When Angels Cry were mixed and mastered by Studio Pros in Los Angeles, CA. The remainder of the album was mixed by Mike Parrish and mastered by Sage Audio in Nashville, TN with the exception of Southbound Train which was both mixed and mastered by Mike Parrish.

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