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Parker Heights
©2012 Independently released
Review by Lucky Boyd


I usually shudder when faced with a musical project featuring a whole bunch of siblings or any relatives, for that matter.  There’s always that one guy in the band who shouldn’t be there, but since blood is thicker, they drag him along and ultimately go absolutely nowhere because the public can smell the lack of talent a mile away.  I opened up the Parker Heights CD and noticed that I was dealing with the Samfords; Dusty, Jessie, Colby, and Corey.  Still, since they hadn’t called themselves the Samfords, I was a little more encouraged.  They also had the good sense to go find themselves a good bass player who was not related.  This had promise.  So I ripped the CD into my computer, as I always do, and prepared myself for what was about to barrage my ears.  The first notes of “Heart On The Line” grabbed me like a jolt of electricity and didn’t let go until the last note of the six-cut EP.  This is one of the best releases I’ve heard in 2012.  The vocal duties are split between Dusty and sister Jessie, and they’re both outstanding.  Brother Corey on drums, together with Seth Wilson on bass, keep as tight a rhythm as you’ll find in Texas music.  And when Colby plays guitar solos, you begin to question whether or not this group is actually related.  There’s no way they could spend enough time together to get this good and still be siblings.  Hats off to whoever raised them.  Their work ethic has brought them to a place where stardom is a possibility.  This is not the first incarnation of this roster, but the current lineup is one that can take them a long way.  The gem of the album is “Not Yet,” written by Jessie Samford, and the composition and it’s stellar performance remind me of the flavor found in a few Wade Bowen tunes, and as you know, Wade is one of the best around.  I am excited for this family, and if they can keep putting aside all the regular traps that most siblings fall into, they’re going to be big.  Oh, and for the record, no one is getting dragged along.  Every member is extremely talented, and together they are soaring to new heights; Parker Heights, if you will.  Don’t forget that name, and go to a show while you can still afford a ticket.  Don’t be surprised if the Academy of Texas Music Nominating Crew takes a hard look at this group at award time.  This is one of my favorite acts of 2012 and just think, you have the opportunity to get their self-titled EP right now.  Don’t wait.

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Parker Heights