Musician builds momentum, “magic” with soulful new band
Singer Parker Louis and his six-member band are gathered in the living room of his German Village house. They laugh, whisper, tease, finish each other's sentences, plan shopping trips and drink tea they've prepared in the kitchen. When asked what they enjoy about playing together, they all say variations of the same thing: They're a family.
“We're really comfortable with each other,” said Louis, an accomplished guitarist and producer. “We're all best friends, just ready to critique each other when it's necessary, but also love on each other.”
It was a bond that formed quickly after Parker's former band, funk group Forest & the Evergreens, abruptly broke up in 2017.
“I was like, ‘Man, I got all these songs and I got some opportunities for shows, but I don't have a band,'” Louis said.
He pulled in musicians he'd worked with while producing soul singer T.Wong's album, The Upside Down: keyboard player Aaron White, bassist Leron White and drummer Jordan Lewis. Louis also recruited vocal group Leo, comprised of Che' Guy, Deja Watson-Chandler and Christopher Noble. Louis sent them demos, which would eventually become the soulful All Good Things Pt. One EP, released earlier this year.
“I was expecting it to sound a little more like what I heard from Forest & the Evergreens,” said Watson-Chandler of hearing EP opener “No Love Lately” for the first time. “I hadn't heard him singing that way. … It was introducing me to who Parker really was musically.”
Leo's lush harmonies are an integral part of the All Good Things sound, which owes a debt to the 29-year-old Capital University graduate's musical influences (D'Angelo, Sam Cooke, etc.).
“There's a moment on ‘Only Fire,' that last big harmony — it's just a gorgeous thing,” Louis said. “We barely needed to mix it because it was already there. … That's kind of our thing. We want it to be right as soon as it goes into the microphones. And we're capable of that.”
Adding to that cohesiveness is the rhythm section. “They just bring their own vibe and flavor to the songs that I wouldn't ever be able to do,” Louis said.
On the heels of a recent stint opening for O.A.R., Louis and company will headline their first major show at Natalie's Coal-Fired Pizza on Friday, Nov. 30. And at press time, the band was preparing for the release of All Good Things Pt. Two.
“There's a little more production that lends itself to a darker vibe,” Louis said. “We go further into effects to make it a little stranger.”
An example can be heard on the piano-driven breakdown that slows the new single “Waiting” down midway through. Otherwise, the song is upbeat and infectious, but nothing compared to the live version, where the band members' chemistry shines through, they said.
“Any one person in this band could be off doing something else great, but we've all made the choice to follow Parker,” Guy said. “There's something magical that he has created.”