Picks and Pans Review: Steady Nerves
Graham Parker and the Shot
Parker, a sort of pub-crawling Elvis Costello, is currently on tour, opening for Eric Clapton in the kind of arena he needs to reach a deservedly larger audience. After all, he's been producing robust, original R&B-influenced rock for nearly a decade without much commercial success. On this, his most upbeat LP, Parker has not abandoned his distinctly astringent style; he still sounds sulky and introspective, but he has softened his tone. There are also some surprisingly florid touches in his normally stark songwriting, such as the Motown breakdown near the end of Wake Up (Next to You), which is preceded by a Clarence Clemons-like sax solo from Lou Cortelezzi. Guitarist Brinsley Schwarz, the only holdover from Parker's former backup band, the Rumour, dovetails neatly with keyboardist George Small, bassist Kevin Jenkins and drummer Michael Braun. Parker is a peppery rocker who has paid his dues. Steady Nerves may be a good time to catch his act, while he's on his best behavior. (Elektra)
On Newsstands Now
- Matthew McConaughey: The Time of My Life!
- 45 Pages of Oscar!
- The Pistorius Trial: Why Did He Kill Her?
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine