Abby Parks began performing solo with her guitar in church and then majored in classical guitar at Colorado Christian University in Denver, also studying piano, voice, and music composition. There were many musical paths she could have taken, but Parks had developed a great affection for songs she’d heard in the folk and songwriting traditions, particularly by artists like Joni Mitchell and Judy Collins. Lyrics that told stories and delved deeper into the human psyche than typical pop songs gave her a desire to take her music in that direction.
By the time she had moved to the UK with her family in 1995, Parks had enough songs under her belt to perform live shows, including a performance in 2000 at the Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow, Scotland. Finally settling in Alabama, Parks released her debut album MOVING ON in 2005 and performed throughout the Southeast in venues ranging from coffeehouses and churches to theaters, clubs, and festivals.
As her songwriting matured, Parks turned her attention to the rich Southern heritage she can lay claim to. Stories told to her throughout her life about her family’s background became the source for many of the songs off her latest album THE HOMEPLACE, including “The Homeplace,” “Lambert Road,” and “Wild Dogs.” Recorded at Huntsville’s Sound Cell Studio, the album was produced with the help of Doug Jansen Smith (Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Phil Collins). The CD features imaginative instrumentation accompanying her unique finger-style guitar playing, creating an evocative atmosphere for Parks to spin reflective narratives in song.
Parks graduated with a B.A. in Music Performance and English from Jacksonville State University, and she is a private music teacher at a college preparatory school. She is currently working on a third album, and is actively involved with the Folk Alliance. She is the creator of www.FolkRenaissance.com, a site in which she writes articles, album reviews, and conducts interviews with professional folk artists and songwriters. She is also the host of the Folk Renaissance radio show which airs Sunday nights 9-11pm cst on WLJS 91.9 FM in Jacksonville, Alabama.
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