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Parker Millsap Brings Americana and Blues Fusion to Maiden Alley Cinema

James Coreas
Parker Millsap brings his blend of Americana, blues, and folk rock to Paducah's Maiden Alley Cinema on Friday, August 16th.

At only 26 years old, Parker Millsap has quickly made a name for himself in the world of Americana and blues with tracks like "Truck Stop Gospel," "Old Time Religion," and "Hades Pleads." Millsap visits Sounds Good to discuss his upcoming performance at Paducah's Maiden Alley Cinema.

Parker Millsap, originally from Purcell, Oklahoma, first picked up a guitar when he was nine years old. After becoming interested in blues greats like Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Clapton, Millsap switched over to electric guitar and started a cover band with classmate, Michael Rose, who still plays bass with Millsap today. Millsap attributes his lifelong dedication to music to his Pentecostal upbringing. "I feel lucky to have grown up in a context where music wasn't only a commodity, you know. Music can be used for spiritual purposes, and a lot of people just don't experience it that way," Millsap explains. "They experience it by buying records, and culture, and whatever that is. I really appreciate having grown up in a place where music is sacred and where music is used to usher in transformative or meditative or whatever kind of experiences, or even ecstatic experiences."

Since the release of his first full length album, Palisade, in 2012, Millsap has enjoyed tremendous success within the music industry. He was named one of the Americana Music Association (AMA)'s emerging artists of the year in 2014. In 2016, Millsap made his network television debut on CONAN. A performance with Sir Elton John at the Apple Music Festival in London, an Austin City Limits taping, and an AMA nomination for Album of the Year are some of the other accolades Millsap has collected in a short seven years. 

Millsap's music has been likened to early Elvis Presley, but he considers his Americana, blues, and folk-rock fusion to be inspired most heavily by early blues musicians. "I wish I was a blues man. That's what I want to be. I'm about 50 years late and all that," Millsap laughs. "That's so much of what I listen to and what I'm thinking about when I listen to music. It stretches so far. Blues music is African music and American music and it's jazz, and it can be pop music. I love it, and that's what made me want to start really playing guitar and writing songs." 

Parker Millsap will perform at Paducah's Maiden Alley Cinema on Friday, August 16th at 8 p.m. For more information on the show and how to purchase tickets, visit the Maiden Alley Cinema website. To find music, merch, and upcoming shows of Millsap's, visit his website

"[At the show], I'll interact with the crowd, but when I'm on stage, I'm always so focused on 'let's make more music,' you know. When I first started out, I talked a lot more to the crowd because I was in house concerts and more acoustic singer-songwriter rooms. But since I've been touring with the full band, it's more like, 'how many songs and how much fun can we cram into one set.' I want it to feel like a good movie, where there's points where you laugh, there's points where you want to cry, there's points where maybe you're angry or scared or unsettled - and then it resolves," Millsap concludes. 

Tracy started working for WKMS in 1994 while attending Murray State University. After receiving his Bachelors and Masters degrees from MSU he was hired as Operations/Web/Sports Director in 2000. Tracy hosted All Things Considered from 2004-2012 and has served as host/producer of several music shows including Cafe Jazz, and Jazz Horizons. In 2001, Tracy revived Beyond The Edge, a legacy alternative music program that had been on hiatus for several years. Tracy was named Program Director in 2011 and created the midday music and conversation program Sounds Good in 2012 which he hosts Monday-Thursday. Tracy lives in Murray with his wife, son and daughter.
Melanie Davis-McAfee graduated from Murray State University in 2018 with a BA in Music Business. She has been working for WKMS as a Music and Operations Assistant since 2017. Melanie hosts the late-night alternative show Alien Lanes, Fridays at 11 pm with co-host Tim Peyton. She also produces Rick Nance's Kitchen Sink and Datebook and writes Sounds Good stories for the web.
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