Archives for category: Jazz

Courtesy – John Richards Music

The Nashville Bridge sat down with John Richards at Fido in Hillsboro Village just before the one night only viewing of Led Zeppelin’s Celebration Day at The Belcourt to celebrate John’s forthcoming release My Jazz II.

A lifelong resident of Nashville, John Richards is a guitarist’s guitarist having made the transition from Rock and Roll to Country sideman to accomplished archtop wizardry. The former President of The Nashville Musicians Union, Harold Bradley says, “Exciting would be a good way to describe John Richards. His technique appears to be born of necessity to fulfill his creative imagination…along with his musical riffs, his voice doubles the musical lines…he plays a variety of music from “Cherokee” to “Night Life” and I recommend you listen to John Richards.”

Courtesy – John Richards Music

John Richards is a Nashville native and lifelong musician who was a child protégé of his father, his musical hero. John started his musical journey on the stage of the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree in Nashville and has toured with and backed on radio, television and for live audiences: Tanya Tucker, Johnny Bush, Carl Perkins, R.W. Blackwood, Billy Ealker, Ferlin Husky, Bobby Bare, Barbara Mandrell, Mac Wiseman, Bill Anderson and many more.

He has been compared to Django Reinhart, George Benson, Lenny Breau and Chet Atkins while also winning a PBS Award for his part in the Ken Burns Jazz Series.

John was recently awarded the prestigious “Nashville Jazz and Blues Award for 2012 Guitarist of the Year” from the elite Marion James Blues Society.

My Jazz II was recorded at the famous Gene Breeden’s Studio and Produced by the well known Lloyd Townsend and Imaginary Records. The CD will be released this week.  The CD Release Party will be held at World Music Nashville, Friday November 30th at 7PM

Brad Hardisty / The Nashville Bridge: Why My Jazz II?

John Richards: It’s called My Jazz II as opposed to my Jazz 1 which was my first CD and the reason why it’s called my Jazz II is because the first one never got pushed anyway. It never had any PR.

TNB: When was Jazz 1 released?

JR: That was like 10 years ago or maybe more.

TNB: So this was a whole different period of time.

Vassar Clements

JR: Yes, but, I’ve always played Jazz so, you know it’s the reason why I carried over some of those older cuts; because they’re invaluable, for instance Vassar Clements playing on it. It was Vassar’s last session.

TNB: Did you write some cuts? Do some covers?

John Richards and Victor Wooten at Bass Camp

Richard Smith

JR: On the new CD there are some covers, but, mostly because Vassar Clements played on it and Victor Wooten played on some of the cuts too. Victor is an old friend of mine. Plus, some surprise guests as well. Richard Smith is from England, he’s playing on an impromptu version of …I was on Tom Brash’s guitar actually. I was just sittin’ there with it and we launched into “Cherokee” so we just went with it, just two players, trading bass lines and playing behind each other.

TNB: Victor can play about anything.  He plays with Bela Fleck. What’s he doing on your cut?

JR:  Victor is playing on my instrumental. It’s called “Twilight Moon.”   I have been fortunate. Victor came and played on that for me and I’ve since been at his Bass Camp and we jammed up there and played some shows and it’s like we are getting to know each other even more. It is really neat. He’s an incredibly nice man and if you wanted to know, we really come from the same head in a lot of ways.

TNB: You are both from Nashville.

JR: The Wootens; they were like army brats, they traveled all over the place. They were in California,but, I think, originally,  they are from North Carolina. I was born and raised here.

TNB:  Did you write anything on this from your own personal life experiences?

Moe Denham

JR: Well, “Pookie Is A Dude” has a lot to do with my life. A dear friend of mine kept on coercing me. He wanted me to sing about his cat. I finally gave in. He said,”Hey man you gotta write a song about my cat.” I said what’s your cat’s name and he said “Pookie!” I was like “Pookie?” ”Yeah you need to call him that, like, Pookie’s a dude” I was like “Pookie’s a dude?”  So, I gave in and wrote this song and it’s a fun thing. Also, you got the great Moe Denham playing the Hammond Organ.  He’s played with a lot of great jazz players. It’s a full cast man.

TNB: Is it all over the map as far as jazz goes?

JR: It’s everything from original stuff  and stadards, but,all of them are my arrangements. There is even a Beatles song.

TNB: What Beatles song?

JR: “Norwegian Wood,” it’s pretty cool. It was done some with a trio and some with Vassar. Some with just you know I like the trio or sometimes four or five pieces.

TNB: Did you have a main guitar that you used on the sessions?

Courtesy – John Richards Music

JR: Pretty much it was my Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor. I just plug it in and go. I don’t have a bunch of pedals.

TNB: How did you get started playing guitar in Nashville?

JR: I always had an interest in music. My Dad and my Uncle used to have these jam sessions three or four times a year.  My Uncle lived in Florida and he would come into Nashville and the families would get together and my grandmother and all the women would cook up this great food and we cooked up a bunch of this great music and every year when they would do one of these things I would be wanting to play and I’d want to get right in the middle of it, but, I didn’t have a decent enough guitar until I was about eleven. It was a decent flat type. I was like strumming along with them and my uncle turned to my Dad and whispered, “You’ve been showin’ him some chords, haven’t you?” Dad said, “No, I haven’t been showin’ him anything.”  My Uncle says, “Well, he’s playing the right changes for what we are doing.” So, my Mom saw that I really loved it and everything and told Dad, “Ok. He wants it. Now, you know he doesn’t want to go play baseball.” Dad didn’t want me to get involved in the business unless he saw that it is what I really wanted.  And I’ve always appreciated him letting me find my way. He was a great guy and a great mentor for me. He was a jazz lover too.  I mean, he knew people like Hank Garland, Grady Martin and he ran a shoe shop. He would call me to the back where he had his little radio going all day long and he’d be like “John!  C’mon here and catch this lick.” I learned a lot of licks that way. Jerry Reed, Grady Martin licks. He had me back there as fast as he could to have me learn that way. I mostly got ear training, but, it served me pretty well.

TNB: What was your first professional gig?

JR: Probably, with a combo after I had been playing three months. We had a group called The U.F.O.’s and we were doing Ventures music and “Louie, Louie,” all the songs of the day. We opened Madison Square Shopping Center, right in front of the marquee for the movie theater. That was my first big gig.

TNB: So, did you get into Rock and Roll for a while, or did you get into Country?

JR: My trail started with Roger Miller who was a doing that “bluh, bluh, duh, duh.”  He would play a little lick at the same time. I was always looking for a little lick because everything was always so new to me. I was open to hear what I could hear and learn. That Roger Miller lick grabbed me and I started doing that little lick and it wasn’t very long after that when I heard Jerry Reed. I was a teenager when I started hearing Jerry Reed and Dad started doing the same thing, he said “Come here! Check this out. Check out this guitar player.”

TNB: Jerry did a lot of nylon string guitar stuff.

JR: There is a big story with all of that. Because, I got really voracious into Jerry Reed stuff, but, I didn’t know that he tuned for a lot of stuff that he played. I didn’t know if he was overdubbing or what, so, I learned how to play verbatim in standard tuning. I would be in the same key. One day I had heard, I always had my ear to the ground, about some new music shops and somebody I knew told me about this new music shop that opened up. They had all these handmade guitars and stuff that were way beyond glorious. These were like the finest handmade classical guitars and flamenco guitars made. The ones you only hear about and I was sitting there and I was getting to play these things. They kept bringing them back, bringing them down. They would have them way up on the wall, like Ramirez; beautiful handmade guitars. I used to love the work on flamenco guitars. They had beautiful knobs.  They weren’t even knobs. They were works of art and pearl sometimes, I mean just gorgeous. They had all this gold work that went up on the side and around the sound hole. Jerry Reed got me hooked into playing classical guitar.

TNB: So you learned how to do that style?

photo – Brad Hardisty

JR: Yeah, I was playing one guitar in particular and this tall gentleman comes by and I noticed he was kind of coming by now and then. I was just sitting there probably playing for like an hour. Finally, he came by and said, “Man you sound like Glen Campbell!” I was like doing Jose Feliciano, “Light my Fire” and all that stuff.  And he said,” Yeah, you sound like Jose Feliciano too.” I said, “Thank you sir, but, my real idol is Jerry Reed.” He said, “Well yeah? Hit me a lick!” I went into a lot of it and I was doing it in standard tuning and he just cracked up and he said, “You know, Jerry is a friend of mine.” I was like “Jerry’s a friend of yours, huh.” He was like, “I’m going to call him and tell him about you.” That’s when I found out for the first time that I doubted someone’s word, because, that was like me being Elvis for some teenage girl or something. He got on the phone for like a fifteen minute conversation with this man so I played a little bit louder just in case it was Jerry. I wanted him to hear what I was doing somewhat. Then, he gets off the phone after just having a “bang-up” conversation. He said “It’s settled, Jerry wants to meet you.” I was like, “Jerry wants to meet me? That’s terrific.” Then he says, “Yeah and he’s going to call ya.” I said,”He’s going to call me.” I kept saying this in my mind… okay. He convinced me enough that when I got home from school, I would sit by the phone. In those days there were no coda phones. If you didn’t catch the phone, you just missed the call, period! There was no way to know who called you ever. So anyway, this one particular day my Mom was going down to Madison Square Shopping Center, going to Shoney’s which was the highlight of my… I mean Shoney’s was it in those days as a kid. If she mentioned Shoney’s my ears lit up. But, I said, :”Mom you know I normally would go with you, but, I think I better stay here and wait for a call from Jerry.”

TNB: How old were you?

photo – Brad Hardisty

JR: I was fourteen. Anyway, I didn’t want to do anything that would keep me from being able to race to that phone. At the time, that was back when they had these long, long chords so you could put it in any room in the house, but, you had to have a really, really long chord. And it went all the way down the hallway to my parent’s door where their bedroom was. I could just race down the hall and I was like, “Oh shoot! I got to go to the bathroom!” I was like ready then the phone rings so I go running down there to grab the phone and you know how when you have been around someone for so long you  kind of pick up their mannerism and there speech? I had never heard this voice in my life. He said, “John?” I said “Jerry?”  He said, “No this isn’t Jerry, but, this is Jerry’s manager and Jerry wants to speak to you.” So then he puts Jerry Reed on the phone and Jerry said, “Well son, I hear you sound like me.” I said, “Well, I try to Jerry.” Jerry said, “Well hit me a lick! Do you have something on tape where I can hear it?”  I said “Well, I just happen to have a little reel to reel.” I had recorded “Oh What A Woman” or “Guitar Man” or something. Jerry said, “That will do. Let me hear that!” So, I put it on and it sounded like Jerry Reed on a 78 because my voice was like three times higher and anyway I played this thing and I heard him on the other line and he was just cracking up! He was like, “Son, I gotta meet you. You gotta come down to my office.” Jerry’s office was at Columbia Records. It was called Vector Music. That was his publishing company. I got into Jerry so much that I went down there, I had just bought a guitar that was like a three quarter size Decca that I bought with paper sales, because, I used to be a paper boy when I was a kid and I wore these kind of hats when I was a kid. That’s why I brought it back. That is another story. Anyway, I brought this guitar and I didn’t have a case for it. I had on sneakers, blue jeans, A Hooker Header yellow racing jacket with big red stripes with embroidery that said, “I love my Hooker Headers.” Also, a fishing hat like Jerry wore. The guitar was thrown over my shoulder and his manager came to the door and said, “You gotta be John.” I said, “Yes sir! That’s me!” He said, “Well, Jerry’s there so go on in.” It was really an amazing thing because something happened later that would make me never forget meeting him that day. I will never forget he had on this turtleneck with a very low collar and he had sleeves rolled so they kind of “belled” out. It was kind of a light blue sweater and then he had on electric blue pants. He was putting when I came in he had his set up in there. He said, “Well son, come on in here.”  We sat down. He said, “Well, play me something. Let me hear ya.” So, I started playing one of his tunes and he said, “Well, son, that was really good! I like that, but, this is the way I actually play it and he tuned down my little Decca and played his tune on it and then he would give it back to me and he would say, “That s the way I play that.”  I was like, “Oh! You tune for those things.”  “I tune for a lot of the stuff. “ We spent, like, I mean it seemed like forever, like, three hours together doing that back and forth, me playing him a song and them him showing me how to do it right. Before I left that day, they gave me practically all of Jerry’s albums.  The last one that he gave me had the same exact outfit that he had on the day I met him, so, I will never forget it. And he signed it, “Keep cookin’ Jerry Reed.” The name of the album was Cookin’.

TNB: That was the outfit he was wearing when you met him?

JR: Yeah, so, I never, never, ever forget what he had on that day.

TNB: So, from then on you were hooked.

JR: Oh yeah! I got voracious on Jerry Reed! I used to play at Ernest Tubb Record Shop and if I wasn’t doin’ some kind of Country rebellion then I was like, just playing Jerry’s stuff. He influenced me so much. Now, earlier, I mentioned Roger Miller, so, when Jerry Reed started the scatting, he used to scat, but, he wouldn’t he be doin’ it while he was playin’ his licks. I learned to do that from Jerry Reed and then it came in handy when I got into George Benson, because, I was already scattin’.

TNB: George Benson was doing the Wes Montgomery thing.

JR: Except, Wes Montgomery didn’t sing or scat.

TNB: He didn’t, but, style wise, he had a lot of Wes Montgomery.

JR: Oh yeah, Wes influenced a lot of people.  Wes was just a monster jazz guitar guy. The octave thing was great, but, his bebop was just amazing. He was great; a great player.

– Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridge@hotmail.com

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Town Mountain on Mainstage

On the second night of World of Bluegrass, the boundaries were being stretched from groups influenced by Bluegrass music growing up, but, showing hardly a hint of a Bluegrass foundation to neo-modern traditionalists Town Mountain, the future of Bluegrass lies in a cross section of those that would hold high the Monroe flame at this celebration of the 100th Anniversary of his birth to seeing if Pat Benatar can go well with a side of Mandolin.

The Farewell Drifters

The Farewell Drifters, with a fairly current Americana meets Pop Music took the stage, with two releases debuting in the top 10 of the Billboard Bluegrass charts, Zach Bevill and the crew were a push forward with varied influences. The fact that they have progressed this far shows that a younger generation is carrying acoustic music across the universe.

Nu-Blu backstage

Nu-Blu, featuring the beautiful voice of Carolyn Routh, premiered a great video for a strong number, “Other Woman’s Blues,” before playing live to the full house. The real strength of Nu-Blu is their songwriting, even though they finished the set with Dolly’s “Jolene” and a Pat Benatar rave-up of “Shadows of the Night,” they have some interesting stories of their own to tell.

Crystal Shipley, Joe Zauner and Jed Clark

If there was a particular theme, it seemed to be that just about any acoustic music was welcome. Even in the after hours, showcases, which featured the Gypsy Jazz / Old time Texas style swing of Casey Driscoll, Taylor Baker and Brennen Ernst playing “Blue Skies”, was really a bridge to the Americana Conference and Folk Alliance.

Backstage with Randy Kohrs

Jim Lauderdale had one of the strongest sets, playing songs from Reason and Rhyme, with Producer and Dobro shredder, Randy Kohrs and a hot band hitting all the right spots. Jim is a neo-traditionalist chameleon that works in tall bluegrass and with Grateful Dead songwriters in the same breath. Jim has such a volume of output; he wears me out just thinking about it.

Jim Lauderdale with WSM 650 staff

Town Mountain was a fitting finish, with great musicianship and a strong nod to Bluegrass.  They were drawing in the lines and at the same time fresh faced.

Rodney & Beverly Dillard

Rodney Dillard of the generational Dillards (The Darlings, Andy Griffith Show) was taking a breather this year while his band was all about mixing it up.

Casey Driscoll, Taylor Baker and Brennen Ernst Showcase

The jams go late into the night. Some of the impromptu meet ups are what makes this fun. You could catch anybody from Crystal Shipley (The Dixie Bee-Liners), Joe Zauner on banjo and Jed Clark (The Roys) on guitar, just hanging on a cluster of couches talking instruments to see what happens.

Harry Fontana at Robert's

After hours, one could hang and catch the late night showcases or go grab a bite to eat down on Lower Broad in a couple of minutes at Robert’s listening to the three piece straight up Rock and Roll of Harry Fontana on “Rockabilly Boogie.”

Martin McDaniel at The Stage

A couple more doors down and the soulful country of Southern Alabama’s Martin McDaniel, with some of the most fluid guitar lines in town was at The Stage. Martin has been building a local audience ever since he arrived a few years ago, doing it the hard way, honky tonks and opening sets.

WAMU's Bluegrass Country Showcase

Music City; where music never sleeps.  

– Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridge@hotmail.com

Rick Carter at BAAM Fest 2011 (c) 2011 Thomas B. Diasio

This year BAAM FEST, Birmingham Arts and Music Festival, took over where the highly successful Secret Stages Festival left off. Whereas Secret Stages was a mini-SXSW for regional Indie acts, the list of Artists this year was a high octane cross section of Hip Hop, Funk, Jazz, Rock and everything in-between.

Milyn Sattierfield-Royal & Toullouse,BAAM Fest 2011 (c) 2011 Thomas B. Diasio

BAAM FEST was started a year ago to take the place of the now defunct City Stages.  Although City Stages featured national recording Artists with a mix of regional and local acts thrown in the mix, BAAM FEST has taken over the task of putting together a virtual Pub Crawl of the best of Birmingham.

Birmingham has a diverse scene and just about every genre and subgenre was well represented.

Rescue Dogs, Stillwater, BAAM Fest 2011

Almost every club worth its weight was involved including The Nick, Bottletree, Metro Bar, Workplay, Stillwater Pub, Speakeasy as well as some of the newer venues that have grown out of the re-generation of the business district such as Steel.

This year, there was not a VIP shuttle which made it hard to get around to some areas without hopping into a car. This worked for some clubs and not so much for others as it made it easy to stay downtown and hang out around Rogue Tavern, Steel and Metro Bar. The crowds seemed to be heavier in the business district.

Rickie Castrillo, Rojo, BAAM Fest 2011,(c) 2011 Thomas B. Diasio

If you had been drinking, you would be hard pressed to venture by car up to The Nick or Zydecos. This is something to think about in the future.

Phillip Hyde / Caddle BAAM Fest 2011 (c) 2011 Thomas B. Diasio

It may just be by word of mouth, but some of the more stellar well known locals such as Rick Carter and Rollin’ In The Hay were a definite go to as well as the virtually created at The Nick, hard rockin’ white trash gothic style of Caddle.

Tim Boykin (Carnival Season, Shame Idols, The Lolas, Annexed Asylum) rolled out a full set of his heaviest incarnation yet with full on Zen Death Metal, Throng of Shoggoths at The Nick. Isn’t Tim the guy who did a cover of Flamin’ Groovies’ “Shake Some Action?” Oh that’s right, if Tim can think it, he can play it. From what I hear Throng of Shoggoths makes Annexed Asylum look like Starland Vocal Band.

J. Grubbs & Southern Phoenix, BAAM Fest 2011

On the Hip Hop end, J. Grubbs and Southern Phoenix did a Rap meets Southern Funk meets blues thing at Steel on Friday night. Birmingham artists have been mixing it up with Hip Hop ever since The Agency were doing their Punk-Reggae-Rap thing at Marty’s back in 2005. Has it been that long?

Jon Poor Band, Steel, BAAM Fest 2011

The Jon Poor Band has been stirring it up with his blend of “Swamper – second – generation meets Jimmy Buffet” sound with the College scene for a number of years. He didn’t disappoint on Friday night at Rogue Tavern. Friday night  Rogue finished off with a Jazz set by The Chad Fisher Group.  Chad didn’t stop there; playing to a packed sardine set at Stillwater Pub the next night with local legend Heath Green and their project Fisher Green.

Heath Green at Stillwater/BAAM Fest (c) 2011 Thomas B. Diasio

Fisher Green started off with the Joe Cocker version of “The Letter” before some of the standard Heath Green set numbers over the last few years then doing a couple of songs from their soon to (finally) be released album.

The Grenadines at Metro, BAAM Fest 2011

As far as Indie goes, The Grenadines were in full bloom with a late night set on Friday.  The Grenadines with the recognizable scene girl from the last few years, especially at Model Citizen shows, Lauren Shackelford in her fringe dress rocked the house. Metro Bar has some problems sound wise now. It was great that they took all the weird booths and stuff down, but now it sounds like one of those restaurants that are loud with dishes and silverware clanging around where everybody is yelling and still can’t hear a thing.

Metro Bar could really help itself by doing some ceiling treatment even if it were to hang about 20 flags from the 20 foot ceiling to dampen things a bit.

Neo Jazz Collective, Bob Marley, Jah,Civil Rights Institute,BAAM 2011

On a tip from Sound Engineer, Danny Everitt, I actually got up before noon to go catch the Neo Jazz Collective at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute performing a complete Bob Marley set. What a great group of Kids. They sounded great from horns to guitar to vocals that featured Carlito and a trio of girls doing great back up and lead vocals. It was probably one of my favorite sets of the weekend.

Chad Fisher at Stillwater/ BAAM Fest (c) 2011 Thomas B. Diasio

I stuck around and watched The “Freedom Riders” Documentary after their set. That should be required viewing for all the schools in Alabama and Tennessee.  It was interesting to watch when the Nashville students from Fisk University and friends decided to get involved when the Northerners gave up Birmingham. It was a gutsy move. In fact, they left for Birmingham during finals week. That group of Fisk University students did not receive amnesty for what they did until last year, when they finally got their diplomas four decades later.

Fighting Meeces, Zappa time, Stillwater, BAAM Fest 2011

Saturday kicked off at Stillwater Pub with Fighting Meeces performing Frank Zappa’s “Peaches in Regalia” and Rescue Dogs performing Grateful Dead style originals before throwing in Pink Floyd’s “Time.”

Ricky Castrillo Trio, Zydeco, BAAM Fest 2011

After Hurricane Katrina, Birmingham gained a New Orleans treasure, Rickie Castrillo, who left New Orleans and made Birmingham home. In that time back in 2007, Rickie was doing a residency at Marty’s and everybody from Chris Fryar (The Allman Brothers Band, Zac Brown Band) to Daniel Turner took a turn to sit in and get to know Rickie and his unique style.  Rickie was well represented at BAAM FEST both at Rojo in a solo set and also a full band set at Zydeco.

rear- Daniel Long (Percussion, Rescue Dogs, The Agency, Furthmore), Daniel Everitt (Bassist, Sound Engineer), Lauren Long (Artist), front- Bobby Bruner (Bassist, Rescue Dogs) at Metro

There were so many groups to see. My story is only one of a thousand. When I look at the calendar, I wish I had seen Kendra Sutton, Jesse Payne, The Magic Math (featuring Van Hollingsworth), Mollie (when are you coming back to Nashville?) Garrigan and Daniel Turner, Clay Conner, Jubal John, Voices in the Trees and who knows what.

Three Feet Deep, Five Points, Southside

After a late night set, I stopped by Makario’s for Hummus and Chicken. If that wasn’t enough, while making my way through Five Points, I watched with amazement as Artist, 3 Feet Deep, was creating waves, birds and Orbs out of spray paint. I am now a proud owner of a 3 Feet Deep original.

This could be the best Pub crawl all year long. Can I get an “Amen?”

3 Feet Deep, artwork, Five Points News rack

– Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridge@hotmail.com

Photo – Brad Hood

When Parrish Hultquist started playing out at age 15, Utah had no idea what they were in store for.

After first tracking at Bonneville Studios for a band called Equinox, he developed his songwriting with Adrian Scott and Brad Hardisty in Roxx. Within a few short years, he was out performing originals with Moviescreen who released their first album in 1984.

Moviescreen

By the time Moviescreen started playing at The Generation Gap, Parrish’s lightning speed and interesting chord changes set him apart from what was available at the time in Utah. Parrish was learning from just about every imaginable influence from early Ritchie Blackmore, Eddie Van Halen, Randy Rhoads to even Jazz artists like Al Di Meola and Allan Holdsworth. If he heard it, he could play it.

Wolfgang at Rafters-photo-Brad Hood

During the early 80’s he challenged himself to study classical nylon guitar only to find out that his teacher from the University of Utah had taught him everything he knew in six months. Anything that he would challenge himself to do on the guitar he could accomplish. He was a guitarists’ guitarist.

Parrish excelled in his abilities and quickly became bored or disinterested if the band he was in was not up to pushing as fast as things should be, reached a plateau or could not see his vision. Most of the time Parrish was the only guitarist in the band, but, those that were fortunate enough to share the stage with him found it to be an exhilarating experience.

Megattack Raw Delivery 1986

Parrish took guitar seriously and was not up for sharing the stage with somebody he would consider subpar.  Probably, the most successful band that Parrish performed with was Megattack with the dual guitar attack of Parrish Hultquist and Jay Gough. They played regional shows from Salt Lake City to Boise, Idaho with crowds of a 1000 or more. Megattack’s first album Raw Delivery took off in Europe just as the band broke up.

Wolfgang, Parrish,2nd in White pants

Parrish played in numerous projects in the late 80’s, such as Terra’s album Flames of Passion (out of print) featuring brothers Dana and Kevin Freebairn and early 90’s, most notably Wolfgang who played regularly in Salt Lake City and played tour dates opening for bands such as Extreme and Tesla. Wolfgang recorded several unreleased tracks and a few videos that can be found on YouTube nowadays.

Megattack , Raw Delivery era, Bryan Sorenson, Jake Oslo, Rick Jackson, Parrish Hultquist, Patrick Carter, photo courtesy The Bryan Sorenson Family

Megattack , Raw Delivery era, Bryan Sorenson, Jake Oslo, Rick Jackson, Parrish Hultquist, Patrick Carter, photo courtesy The Bryan Sorenson Family

Parrish created a lot of buzz as a guitarist and garnered compliments from other contemporaries such as Michael Schenker and George Lynch. He started to appear on Metal Fanzine covers as the next big thing or the Intermountain Music Scene secret weapon.  It would be a fact that Parrish would not have a problem tangling with any guitarist on stage doing anything from Metal to Jazz to Classical Music. He was an accomplished musician who studied everything he could get his hands on.

Megattack, photo courtesy The Bryan Sorenson Family

Megattack, photo courtesy The Bryan Sorenson Family

Parrish began to have medical issues, a very rare seizure problem in the mid 90’s that began to slow down his ability to perform. He took whatever energy he did have to creating demos off all of his song ideas in his home studio and took opportunities to record with friends.

Megattack in 2006, Jay, Richard, Rick, Parrish and Bryan

In 2005, the opportunity came to record with the original Megattack line up and a follow up to Raw Delivery called Save The Nations was recorded. The album was professionally mastered at Airshow in Colorado.  Parrish put as much as he could into his songwriting and playing. He was constantly dealing with seizures although he was grateful to have the opportunity to record again and perform on stage in Salt Lake City. Although medical issues would keep him in Spokane, W A., where his family lived and where he had medical attention, he was grateful to perform saying finally his daughter, Taylor, was able to see him perform with the band that garnered so much success in the 80’s.

One time he was riffing away at a visit to Guitar Center in West Valley later in years when a Salesman was blown away and asked if he had ever heard of Parrish Hultquist, that his Dad use to hang with him and he was considered the best guitarist to ever come out of Salt Lake City.  He finally busted up a little and explained that he was Parrish.

Travis, Shawn and Parrish

If Parrish respected you as a musician or as a person he was a lifelong friend. While he had a hard time with people that were not what he considered real, judgmental or dishonest he was ready to include those that he could tell were on the fringes whether they were shy, handicapped or otherwise feeling left out. He had a sense of humor and a personality that would light up the room or the face of a girl working as a Checker at the Grocery store. If he wanted to engage you in conversation or merriment there was no stopping him.

Back row, Parrish, Rome, Shelly, front, Stacy, Tracy, Ronnie, Shawn and Travis

Parrish never made the natural choice to go out to the LA scene in the 80’s. He loved Utah, Idaho and Washington State. He never wanted to be too far from family. He was the oldest brother of eight children.  The last several years with his health problems he was never far from his sisters and his Parents in Spokane, Washington.

Parrish was preceded in death by his younger brother, Shawn Hultquist, who had heart problems and while waiting for a heart donor died in 1998. His mother Gay Lynn Saunders also passed away a few years ago.  The surviving family, his father Ron, Stepmother Jacque, Travis, Rome, Shelly, Stacy, Ronnie, Tracy as well as Cory and Billy are gathering for a Memorial in Spokane, Washington over the next few days. His engaging personality and talent will be sorely missed but warmly remembered.

– Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN    thenashvillebridge@hotmail.com