I guess that's why they call it . . . Photo by John Gilhooley
I guess that's why they call it . . . Photo by John Gilhooley

A Happy Coincidence

When it comes to wailing the blues, Parker Macy takes it all the way back—he's just a man and his guitar.

A lot of solo acoustic guitar musicians are folkies. Do you end up on a lot of those bills? How do people react?Yeah. Most of the time people are welcoming to it. It sounds funny, but people really dig my guitar. I have a metal guitar called a Fender Resonator that gets people's interest before I start playing. It's not why I play it, but it's a happy coincidence.

Was it a conscious decision to be a solo act?I've done the whole band thing, but it never really works for the blues as much because the blues that I really love—besides Buddy Guy—is the really old, old blues, played by guys who would just stand on a street corner by themselves. The history is so amazing, and the sound is so raw and pure. I love Buddy Guy, I love B.B. King, I love all these guys who played the Chicago blues, but I really love that Delta blues style.

How did you get into the blues?Nobody in my family really liked the blues. I remember hearing songs on the radio when I was young and thinking, "Oh, that's that kind of sound I like." I had no clue what the blues was until later on in life when I started to figure out, "Oh, that sound I like comes from Robert Johnson, comes from Charley Patton."

How is life as a blues fan in Orange County?I didn't really find the blues in Orange County at all until more recently because I've forced myself to look for where I can find it. I'm so desperate to find it. There really isn't much blues. The best you can hear is maybe a Buddy Guy song on the radio. It's really hard in Orange County to find people to even start a band with because not many people are really interested in that pure old blues sound. I love Eric Clapton, I love all those guys, but that's more of the scene you find here. You won't find the guy sitting with a hat out for a couple dollar bills.

You mentioned Eric Clapton. Do you like those 1960s and 1970s blues-influenced bands?One of my favorite records is E.C. Was Here, a live Clapton record. Eric Clapton is definitely a significant part of the blues because he made it acceptable in the '60s playing all those old Robert Johnson licks. He's influenced by the same guys I am. He just plays it a different way.

How about newer blues-inspired bands like the White Stripes?They're a great next step in the blues.

So it's safe to say you're not a blues snob.I'm very accepting of all kinds of blues. I have the kind I like to play, but I appreciate it all. It's a beautiful genre.



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