Interview: Parker Simon
One of my favorite aspects about writing for Ambush Magazine is getting to interview all kinds of interesting people locals, celebrities, philanthropists and even a scoundrel or two. Recently I was able to interview a wonderfully talented musician named Parker Simon who was in New Orleans performing two acoustic shows at Mags 940 and The Four Seasons Bar. If you are not familiar with this name, you will be soon. Parker’s music meshes a fun rhythm with soulful lyrics that works incredibly well.
On the verge of his second CD being released later this year, he did two shows where he debuted his acoustic version of a fabulous song about New Orleans titled Absinthe. From Tulsa, Oklahoma, Parker Simon is a pop singer-songwriter, musician and premature baby doctor. Right! The perfect husband material, a rocker and a doctor all rolled up in one.
Known for his electrifying sound, Parker builds from his gospel roots to create melodies reminiscent of cornerstone pop stars of the 80’s and early 90’s.
Parker began singing and playing piano from an early age. He went on to obtain a medical degree but his passion for music remained close to his heart. His medical practice as a neonatologist parallels with his music creation, both of which he uses as a channel to help and inspire others, the latter providing him with an artistic outlet.
His debut EP Blow It Up, was released in 2013. From that album, his single, “It’s Going Down”, was featured on the Hollister stores Spring Break Playlist in 2012.
I had a chance to speak with Parker over the phone before his New Orleans shows.
TL: What was your primary inspiration for the song Absinthe?
PS: I love New Orleans, it has always been one of my favorite cities in the United States. I happened on one trip to be at the Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone with a friend trying Absinthe for the first time. When we left I had this feeling of being high, hence one of the main lines in the song. You will hear lots of nods to the city such as Harry Connick Jr., the Carousel Bar and Jackson Square.
TL: Could you tell me about your new album?
PS: The new album is called Live Poet and Absinthe is the third single released from it. The album itself has a unique story. I wrote the album with a friend who died of depression as the album was going into production. I had seen him on a Monday and he died the following day. His twitter account was Live Poet, Die Poet. So to honor him, I named the album Live Poet. This album has been a huge journey with may people from all over the world contributing to it, as far as London and Poland. The album is sort of like a Phoenix Rising from the ashes for me and about recreation.
TL: What do you love about our city?
PS: I have been to New Orleans many times before, mostly for special trips and medical conferences. I have been for Mardi Gras and Halloween also. I love older cities. With New Orleans I love it all from the touristy spots like the French Quarter and the Garden District to all the places the locals hang out. I would definitely love to come down and do a concert here during Southern Decadence.
Check out Live Poet when it releases, as well as sign up on his website for updates and tour information www.parkersimonof cial.com. And the song Absinthe is available digitally.
Book of the Month
I have always loved Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes books and with the popularity of the character still in today’s pop culture in shows like Sherlock on BBC and Elementary, my book of the month for January is a perfect choice. A Study in Charlotte is the debut novel by Brittany Cavallaro. It is the first book in a new trilogy of the teen descendants of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson.
Cavallaro has created a wonderful world as we meet a new crime fighting couple. With nods to all the characters we know and love with some unique plot twists, this clever novel draw the reader in quickly. Jamie Watson has been a distant fan of the mysterious Charlotte Holmes. Their great-great-great-grandfathers were the most infamous crime solving partners in history. He comes to meet her at a boarding school in America and immediately gets drawn into a murder mystery.
As if by a planned coincidence Charlotte Holmes also attends the school and he sets off to discover more about her. She proves to be like her ancestor in her volatility and dark vices. When a student they both have a skirmish with dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, they have to team up to uncover the culprit. With each step closer to the killer the danger ramps up to a very satisfying climax.
What I love about this book, is the back stories of Watson and Holmes and their current families. The authors has made it a point to make the main characters multidimensional with lots of run to grow the series. I highly recommend this fast-paced mystery thriller. For more information on this author and her other books in the series, go to www.brittanycavallaro.com.
After Christmas I spent the entire week laying low and enjoying the holiday week. I was off of work so it was time to connect with my home and end the year being with friends and family. But from New Year’s Eve on, all I cared about was the parties, King Cake and football.
My only outing that week was when King Armeinius 49 Paul Metoyer hosted a Kings Party in celebration of the incoming king Ned Pitre at the Corner Pocket. The boys were plentiful as the monarchs toasted each other and had cake. This party goes to show that it is definitely good to be King.
Happy New Years! A dozen of my closest friends joined me in celebrating the end of 2017 and the start of 2018 at Marche along the river. It may have been cold outside, but the atmosphere was on fire inside. The mood was high as many people were ready to get rid of the baggage of the past year and start afresh. Marche pulled out all the stops for guests from some of the most delicious cuisine to the open bar with free owing champagne, noisemakers, hats, a live band (The Benchwarmers) and a front row seat for the reworks. I love a party atmosphere in an elegant setting, the ideal combination to begin the next 365 days.
On the first day of 2018, I celebrated the incoming new year at the New Orleans Fairgrounds Race Track with Mama Leggio and friends as we enjoyed the Sport of Kings. The races are such a fun and exciting place and we had premium seat along the window at the clubhouse. And even though I broke out even, it was a grand way to spend the day.
As we move into the Carnival season, the events are plentiful. On Thursday, I attended the Queens party of Armeinius at the exceptional (and very pink) new restaurant in the Warehouse District Flamingo A Go Go. Past Queen 49 Beaux Delong Church threw a dinner to honor the new incoming queen, Brent Durnin. I came in at the dessert part of the meal, but it was wonderful to see a krewe keeping a long standing tradition alive. And I love their nickname – The Vipers Club.
It is Mardi Gras and on 12th Night (January 6) I rang in the holiday right by attending two very fun events. The first was a second line (more of a sashay) through the Quarter with the Krewe of King Arthur. I am a new member to this krewe and look forward to riding during the day on February 4, 2018. After the strut, we had an after party upstairs at the Pub where we ate, drank and just conversed with the members. My second stop of the night was Frank Perez’s 12th Night Party. Frank is not only a wealth of all things Mardi Gras, he started this event four years ago in his home and now has grown so much that it has moved to the Double Play. There was food, owing libations, costumes, gaiety and the announcement of the new exalted Grand Reveler IV who is none other than Felicia Philips, who looked dazzling in her gold outfit. With such an amazing start, this Carnival season should be stellar.
Sunday was about kings, queens and Saints! I began my day by attending the Lords of Leather’s Royalty Appreciation Party at Café Lafitte’s in Exile. There was so much bling and jewels in the place, a person could go blind. This festive fundraiser gives a nod to all the current and past royalty of the gay carnival krewes. There is lots of good eats and excitement as everyone is talking about the balls that are about to happen. As always, the Lords show that they live up to their motto of leather, love and laughter!
Afterwards, it was all about the Saints! What a nail biter of a game that was! And one of my favorite places to watch the game is at The Friendly Bar in the Marigny that has lots of great food and pudding shots when we score a touchdown! A Saints win is the perfect way to have ended my two weeks of parties. Bless you boys!