Emporium Presents: Parker McCollum w/ The Lowdown Drifters

Thu Jul 26 2018

8:00 PM (Doors 7:00 PM)

Tractor

5213 Ballard Avenue NW Seattle, WA 98107

Ages 21+

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Parker McCollum comes from a particular type of family — the no-nonsense, hard working kind. His was the sort of upbringing where “if you’re going to do something and you’re not going to do it one-hundred percent you shouldn’t do it all.” It’s why the 25-year-old singer-songwriter treats each song he writes with a painstaking level of dedication, reverence, respect and, as he’ll readily admit, even a bit of obsession. McCollum says that when a particular melody or lyric or emotion is tugging at him, hell, he might just stay in his room for days at a time working it out. He can’t help himself.

That’s because for the Austin-based singer and multi-instrumentalist the end result is worth the occasional pain in the process. “That’s where I find my identity,” McCollum, who broke out with the revealing and critically adored 2013 debut The Limestone Kid and now returns with his highly anticipated follow-up album, Probably Wrong, says of penning soul-baring, honest and forthright Americana anthems. “It just takes over,” he says of the songwriting muse and, one senses, his ever-winding, sometimes gut-wrenching journey as an introspective musician.” “I didn’t choose this life. It chose me.“
Singing such soul-baring songs is a decidedly therapeutic act for McCollum. “When the melody is so spot-on and it hooks me everything that I have been bottling up or not talking about comes out.” It’s why the singer says he lives to perform. “Next to the songwriting the live show is most important,” he offers. Though, seeing as many of his gigs are rowdy, upbeat affairs, he says he searches for the right moments to pepper his set with more emotional numbers. “I’m constantly trying to find ways to make our live show better,” McCollum says. “And my confidence level keeps going up and up. Most of the time onstage I’m running around like I’m the man,” he adds with a laugh, “but I’m definitely not.”

The goal gong forward then, McCollum insists, is to never remain stagnant. He idolizes musicians like John Mayer whom he says are always redefining their creativity. He intends to do the same. “My goal is to totally evolve and reinvent myself with each record I make,” McCollum says. “It’s about changing with each record and really not giving a shit. And if you can pull that off, well, that’s a pretty special thing.”

Emporium Presents: Parker McCollum w/ The Lowdown Drifters

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  • Parker McCollum

    Parker McCollum

    Alternative Country

    Parker McCollum comes from a no-nonsense, hard-working family. His was the sort of upbringing where “if you’re going to do something and you’re not going to do it one-hundred percent; you shouldn’t do it all.” It’s why this 25-year-old treats each song he writes with a painstaking level of dedication, reverence, and — as he readily admits — even a bit of obsession.

    Parker says when a particular melody, lyric or emotion tugs at him he might stay in his room for days working on it. He can’t help himself.

    That’s because, for the Austin-based singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, the result is worth the painstaking process. Parker — who broke out with the revealing and critically adored 2013 debut The Limestone Kid and returned with the acclaimed, Probably Wrong — says, “its like the songwriting muse takes over. I don’t choose when it hits me, but when it does, I pay attention — and it’s always worth the focus it asks of me.“

    Probably Wrong (Nov. 10, 2017), pulls back the curtain to reveal Parker’s depth of artistry. The 10-track LP, written after the dissolution of a long-term relationship, is equal parts self-flagellating and transcendent. It is also the most honest he has ever been in song. There’s an inherent pain that bleeds through in the raw transparency of stunning songs including “I Can’t Breathe” and “Hell of a Year.” For Parker, putting his most intimate thoughts and feelings to song is more of a welcome relief than an act of bloodletting. “I don’t talk about my feelings very often,” he notes. “I keep a lot of things in most of the time, and I don’t want anybody else to have to deal with my stuff. So, I write songs instead.”

    In the wake of The Limestone Kid’s release, and its lead single “Meet You in the Middle” finding success at regional radio, McCollum says “in the blink of an eye” his life drastically changed.” The then-22-year-old went from a life goofing off with his buddies and passing his days strumming the guitar to traveling from one gig to the next, not as a “nobody,” but rather a revered traveling musician with a fervent fan-base. McCollum always wanted to be a singer-songwriter, but he admits he was caught a bit off guard by the buzz around Limestone. “I felt like I was playing catch up for two years,” he says.

    In speaking with McCollum, it’s easy to detect the sense of wonderment and romance he still attaches to the brutally honest songwriters he first revered during his teenage years. Men like Townes Van Zandt, Todd Snider, Steve Earle and James McMurtry — even as a wide-eyed and innocent young man, McCollum sensed these musicians were speaking to a more powerful truth.

    “It would jerk my soul out of me,” he says of encountering and quickly becoming enamored with their music and subsequently dedicating his life to molding songs of a similarly revealing bent. “There’s nothing else I’ve ever encountered that has had as much influence on me,” he explains. “That’s all I wanted to listen to. It was my thing.”

    To that end, when he began writing the songs that would ultimately comprise Probably Wrong, McCollum felt it necessary to be alone with little more than his emotions and a guitar. “I needed to write this record and be on my own,” he says of what led him to end a two-year relationship and retreat inward. “I felt very misunderstood throughout the entire situation,” he adds. “I broke my own heart for the first time just to write this record.” For six weeks, McCollum did nothing but stare at a piece of paper filled with soul-crushing lyrics and engage with his sadness. “And I’m not a sad person,” he says with a laugh. “But I had done it to myself … intentionally.”

    The pain still lingers, but McCollum says accessing it to write his new album allowed him to pen some of his most poignant material to date. “Hell of a Year,” which he calls his “sleeper favorite of the record,” came from McCollum breaking down one night in his truck in a fast-food parking lot. “My heart’s out of love/I fell out of line/I swore I’d never leave again/And I lied,” he sings over a gentle acoustic guitar figure. “When I set out to write this record this was the type of song I was gunning for,” he says of “Hell of a Year.” “It was the hardest song I’ve ever written as far as being that honest. But after doing so, I could go back to being happy for a little bit.” On the slow-rolling “Misunderstood,” the singer throws his hands in the air and makes peace with what he can’t control. “You told me I was no good/It’s alright babe/I’m pretty used to being misunderstood.”

    Singing such soul-baring songs is a decidedly therapeutic act for McCollum. “When the melody is so spot-on, and it hooks me, everything that I have been bottling up or not talking about comes out.” It’s why the singer says he lives to perform. “Next to songwriting my live show is most important,” he offers.

    Though seeing as many of his gigs are rowdy, upbeat affairs, he says he searches for the right moments to pepper his set with more emotional numbers. “I’m constantly trying to find ways to make our live show better,” he says. “I take cues from the fans who show up night after night — I pay attention to what songs they sing along to, what makes them move, smile, holler or just dance. I work to meet them where they are and take them higher. I have the best job in the world.”

    The goal going forward then, Parker insists, is to continue to invest in his craft; to grow. He reveres musicians like John Mayer — who Rolling Stone Country compared him to in its January “New Country Artists You Need To Know” list — whom he says are always redefining their creativity. He intends to do the same. “My goal is to evolve and step into a new version of myself with each record I make,” McCollum says. “It’s about challenging myself to dig deeper. As much as I do this for the fans, it’s also for me, and stepping up into the artist I know I can be.”

  • The Lowdown Drifters

    The Lowdown Drifters

    Alternative Country

    The Lowdown Drifters are a Country band from Stanwood, WA formed in 2015 from a shared love of songwriting with the goal of fostering and furthering the tradition of country music. The Drifters began building a fan base and core group of original songs leading up to the 2016 release of their album Wood & Water. In the past several years the Drifters have gone from writing and playing their original songs for friends to playing at venues such as the Tractor Tavern, Hard Rock Café, Little Red Hen, and Ponderosa Lounge as well as functions for local radio stations supporting the Seattle Seahawks and festivals including the Spur Festival and Festival of the River. As they head back into the studio in the spring of 2018 to begin recording additional songs for their follow up release, they have had the opportunity to play with Chase Rice, Chris Knight, Shane Smith and the Saints, Jason Boland, Cody Canada, and Leanne Rimes and continue to play shows in an ever increasing circuit creating new fans wherever they play.

Emporium Presents: Parker McCollum w/ The Lowdown Drifters

Thu Jul 26 2018 8:00 PM

(Doors 7:00 PM)

Tractor Seattle WA
Emporium Presents: Parker McCollum w/ The Lowdown Drifters
  • Sorry, you missed this event.
  • Check out other similar events on TicketWeb.

Ages 21+

Parker McCollum comes from a particular type of family — the no-nonsense, hard working kind. His was the sort of upbringing where “if you’re going to do something and you’re not going to do it one-hundred percent you shouldn’t do it all.” It’s why the 25-year-old singer-songwriter treats each song he writes with a painstaking level of dedication, reverence, respect and, as he’ll readily admit, even a bit of obsession. McCollum says that when a particular melody or lyric or emotion is tugging at him, hell, he might just stay in his room for days at a time working it out. He can’t help himself.

That’s because for the Austin-based singer and multi-instrumentalist the end result is worth the occasional pain in the process. “That’s where I find my identity,” McCollum, who broke out with the revealing and critically adored 2013 debut The Limestone Kid and now returns with his highly anticipated follow-up album, Probably Wrong, says of penning soul-baring, honest and forthright Americana anthems. “It just takes over,” he says of the songwriting muse and, one senses, his ever-winding, sometimes gut-wrenching journey as an introspective musician.” “I didn’t choose this life. It chose me.“
Singing such soul-baring songs is a decidedly therapeutic act for McCollum. “When the melody is so spot-on and it hooks me everything that I have been bottling up or not talking about comes out.” It’s why the singer says he lives to perform. “Next to the songwriting the live show is most important,” he offers. Though, seeing as many of his gigs are rowdy, upbeat affairs, he says he searches for the right moments to pepper his set with more emotional numbers. “I’m constantly trying to find ways to make our live show better,” McCollum says. “And my confidence level keeps going up and up. Most of the time onstage I’m running around like I’m the man,” he adds with a laugh, “but I’m definitely not.”

The goal gong forward then, McCollum insists, is to never remain stagnant. He idolizes musicians like John Mayer whom he says are always redefining their creativity. He intends to do the same. “My goal is to totally evolve and reinvent myself with each record I make,” McCollum says. “It’s about changing with each record and really not giving a shit. And if you can pull that off, well, that’s a pretty special thing.”