Parker McCollum

Parker McCollum
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Parker McCollum is in his early 20s, but he’s already earning comparisons to artists like Ryan Bingham and John Mayer. The young singer-songwriter has worked tirelessly to establish his own name and this is evident with the release of his striking full-length debut, The Limestone Kid (PYM Music; Feb. 24, 2015). Already a rising star in the Texas music scene, with this record, McCollum makes a bold entrance onto the national stage.


The Limestone Kid is an Americana tour de force, filled with thoughtful lyrics set to Texas Country and folk rock arrangements. Of the 11 songs on the album, nine are originals written or co-written by McCollum. He covers a wide swath of musical ground, from the driving roots rock of “Lucy” to the introspective “Happy New Year,” which kicks off the album, to the wrenching heartbreak of the album’s first single, “Meet You in the Middle.”


Currently living in Austin, where he recorded the new album at Cedar Creek Recording, McCollum was raised in Conroe, Texas. The title of The Limestone Kid pays tribute to his roots: specifically the ranch located in Limestone County where McCollum would work every summer taking care of the cattle and listening to his grandfather’s Buck Owens and Porter Wagoner albums. Multiple songs on this record were written about McCollum’s parents, and, when it came time to choose material for The Limestone Kid, he picked two songs that were written by family members. The world-weary Americana ballad “Galveston Bay,” penned by his cousin and songwriting mentor Austen Biggers, and “Prohibition Rose,” a song based on the true story of a mysterious woman who sold bootleg booze, was written by Parker’s brother, Tyler McCollum, who Parker credits with “teaching me everything I know about music.”


McCollum started playing guitar at 13 and harmonica at 15 and has been performing on stages across Texas since high school. Now 22, he’s backed by a sharp band of fellow Austin musicians, including lead guitarist Kurt Grien, bassist Jason Newberry, drummer Will Hoback, multi-instrumentalist Corby Schaub (who also produced this album), and Charlie Magnone on keys. McCollum and his band have plans to tour this year behind the February release of The Limestone Kid. “We’re young, driven, and ready to get on the road and start touring all over the place,” he enthuses.


McCollum, who contributes harmonica and acoustic guitar in addition to his effortless vocals, recruited several guest musicians to further flesh out the sound, including the legendary instrumentalist Lloyd Maines, who plays steel guitar on “Prohibition Rose,” and Brendan Anthony — a former member of Pat Green’s band — who plays fiddle on “Galveston Bay.”


His songwriting on cuts “Silhouette” and “New Orleans,” where he laments, “Oh, babe, why can’t you see? You’re the only thing as heartless as me,” is mature beyond his age, and reminiscent of Texas artists Hayes Carll and Todd Snider, who both inspired his writing, but McCollum doesn’t pay much attention to the comparisons. He says, “I just want to grow as a songwriter, musician and singer, make good records for a long time, and have people connect with my music.”


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