31 January 2016 marked the release of the second album “A Little Out of Focus” on CD Baby. The release coincided with a performance at the iconic Mainstay in Rock Hall, Maryland, alongside band members Joe Holt, Pres Harding and Ray Anthony, with a very special appearance by Tom McHugh, who plays harmonica on the title cut. The album also features Diane Jones, from Driven Women on banjo on Barbara’s composition “Loving Cup.” The diversity of the music is one of the surprises, with mostly original material.
This project came out of taking an opportunity to work with Joe Holt on arranging some of my original music. Joe is a fantastic pianist and musician, and I was thrilled when he agreed to work with me. Then I was honored to be offered a show at The Mainstay, a local venue that has featured some fantastic performers over the years. Suddenly, the work with Joe became a project and this album is the result. I was delighted to work with Pres Harding and Ray Anthony , both on the cover songs and original work, and am thrilled to have collaborated on one piece with Grant Aldonas who sent me one beautiful piece, asking me to come up with a lyric. I use words like “delighted” and “thrilled” and “honored” because I truly am.
FOCUS on Parker Brilliance!
Millions of cds are released globally each year-all I feel sure with some degree of merit. What I WASN’T prepared for with Barbara Parker’s “A Little out of Focus” was an album which had me pretty much mesmerized from start to finish! Barbara’s unique, emotional, warm voice notwithstanding, the songs run the full gamut of emotions, some storytelling, the odd cover done to perfection. But it is Barbara’s original material which shines with strong melodic vocal lines, excellent lyrics/poetry and a healthy mixture of rhythms, moods going from ballads to a little gentle rocky/poppy/country – all we DIDN’T get was some heavy classical arias or sonatas! For those with eclectic taste in music this album would certainly satisfy. Barbara’s voice has a beautiful tone quality and superb range – she is inviting us on each track to listen to part of her story – so we smile with her, feel the romance with her, ride the crests of each wave of emotion and finish feeling satisfied – but hey! Play it again! Barbara has brilliant backing from Joe Holt, Pres Harding, Ray Anthony with features from Tom McHugh and Diane Jones. This album with its intensity, fun, moods, brilliant songwriting and performances will be one you will play over and over – Outstanding music, performances,arrangements – not so out of focus after all!
Wild Orchids, Melbourne, Australia