By Justin Fortney
I am downright elated about Apothecary Nights and moreguthrie.com bringing Levi Parham to The Apothecary Garden in Guthrie (2nd and Oklahoma). On Saturday, August 22, Parham offers his considerable talent to that wonderful space, and the folks who file in after enjoying the rest of the evening’s activities are in for something special.
In Oklahoma City, just a few months ago, I heard Parham for the first time as he played with Rachel Brashear and Kyle Reid for the Midtown Songwriter Series. All three showed why they are at the forefront of a wave of brilliant Oklahoma songwriters and performers.
When you listen to Parham’s latest recording, Avalon Drive, the songwriting skill is obvious, as well as the chops of the other players on the album and the overall production quality. It’s a six song collection of well-written, deftly-arranged Americana tunes, and in an age when mp3s tend to get tossed around like candy, these recordings are well worth pulling out the pocketbook (or whatever magical device you use to spend money on the internet).
What’s delightful about Parham, though, is that he’s not just good at recording an album. He can pull those songs off live, and he can command a solo show at that. His blues/country-influenced fingerpicking style fills up that musical space with bass and melody lines that are well beyond just typical chord strumming. If that doesn’t make sense, just know that he can play.
When you hear his confident, soulful voice sing out over one of his acoustic guitar arrangements, it’s a sound that easily fills up the landscape that’s allotted to a solo performer, and that’s unique. There are a ton of talented solo musicians that struggle to navigate that awkward world of hitting the stage alone, but he does it with grace.
The collaboration between moreguthrie.com and Apothecary Nights is bringing you this show for only $5 at the gate, so it’s not one that’ll break your bank. The concert starts at 9, and there’ll be food trucks parked out on the street beginning at 6, as well as other Apothecary Nights activities, so it’s a perfect chance to make an evening adventure in Guthrie.
And while you’re waiting for the 22nd to get here, you can hop over to Levi Parham’s Bandcamp page and pick up some of his good good tunes.