John Parsons

About Me


Growing up in Central Pennsylvania in the Sixties and Seventies I absorbed the old time country and mountain music of my parents, the early rock and roll of my older siblings, and the wonderful variety that AM radio once used to be -- top 40 pop, Motown, the latest dance craze, all on the same station.  Mom sang Carter Family songs around the house and we listened to The Grand Ole Opry and The Country Music Jamboree on weekend car rides.  Dad was a truck driver who played the harmonica to while away the miles and brought home early Johnny Cash records and nearly every truck driving song ever recorded. It all went into my musical DNA.


I picked up dad’s harmonica and eventually the guitar and bass.  I’ve played in Country, Jazz, and Classic Rock bands...but acoustic music is where my heart is.  Maybe to recreate my parents’ music, to get back to the early sounds I heard as a boy, I’ve added the banjo, mandolin, dobro, and fiddle. I won’t lie, I’m not a virtuoso, but Mom and Dad would be proud.


So what do I play?  Songs that move me, songs that hopefully move people.  Songs written by others, songs I’ve written.  Songs that mean something to me.  I play music of those who have inspired me: James Taylor, Neil Young, Merle Haggard. Gram Parsons, Hank Williams, Joni Mitchell, John Prine, Patsy Cline, and yes, The Carter Family. Thanks to the resurgence of Roots music in the  Americana Music movement, I share the songs of artists like Jason Isbell, Darrell Scott, John Hiatt, The Turnpike Troubadours, The Steeldrivers, and Gillian Welch.

Come see me.  You might hear Springsteen.  You might hear Flatt and Scruggs.

jp recital 2