Acclaimed singer-songwriter Parker Millsap starts his new tour tomorrow in support of his latest critically acclaimed album, BE HERE INSTEAD. Beginning in Indianapolis, IN at Hi-Fi, the dates take him and his band across the country and end November 20 at Oklahoma City, OK’s Douglas Auditorium. Highlights include two nights at Schuba’s in Chicago, IL, New York’s Bowery Ballroom, Union Stage in Washington, DC, the Basement East iN Nashville, TN, and Austin, TX’s 3Ten Center. Full tour dates are below.
Millsap’s fifth studio LP and first new album in close to three years, BE HERE INSTEAD marks a stylistic shift from the gritty and high-energy folk of the Oklahoma-bred, Nashville-based artist’s previous output. Mainly recorded live with Millsap’s full band, the album sees a departure from the guitar-and-notebook-based approach to songwriting that shaped his earlier work. Instead, Millsap has followed his curiosity to countless other modes of expression, experimenting with everything from piano to effects pedals to old school drum machines (a fascination partly inspired by the early-’70s innovations of Sly Stone and J.J. Cale).
BE HERE INSTEAD was produced by the legendary John Agnello (Kurt Vile, Sonic Youth, Waxahatchee), and was heralded in January with the luminous “The Real Thing.” The song – which features guest vocals from Nashville singer Erin Rae – was also joined by a video, streaming now at YouTube. “The Real Thing” was met with a lot of excitement at radio, peaking at #1 on the Americana chart and sitting in the top 5 for 13 weeks, and making NPR’s Heavy Rotation list twice. In February, Millsap returned with the song “Vulnerable,” a lushly textured piece of psychedelic soul threaded with elegantly simple wisdom that Rolling Stone called “a shimmering dreamlike production that plays like an underwater orchestra.” The song was joined by a companion video directed by Casey Pierce. He then released “Dammit,” one of the album’s most majestic moments as it unfolds as an unlikely epic that perfectly captures the nuances of existential frustration while working up a furious momentum that’s nothing less than exhilarating. It was also joined by an official music video. Milsap then shared “In Between” via a premiere on Garden & Gun, who said, “Millsap’s earnest, no-frills vocals tumble out over understated strumming, with the occasional sparse harmony accentuating lyrics about being finished with one phase of life but not quite ready for the next.”