Anders Parker is definitely difficult to define. It would be easy to merely label him as an indie/rock alt/country singer/songwriter but that would be too wordy and yet still not enough to describe the mix of songs from Parker's first official solo release, Tell It To The Dust. He uses classic songwriting skills taking ordinary problems and circumstances and crafts them into songs that don't leave your head. With sounds and wordplay reminiscent of Van Morrison, The Beatles, Neil Young (with a touch of Husker Du and R.E.M.), among others, Parker creates his own world that is as diverse as his influences. His use of guitar riffs with organs or harmonicas with string arrangements gives each song its own flavor without necessarily being experimental.
The title track is catchy and roars toward the end with heavy guitar then lulls you into a calm finish. The bluesy "Something New" could have easily turned into another requiem for navel gazing yet Parker makes it into something more immense and real and a hell of a lot more interesting with all the "la la's" falling in just the right places. "Into the Sun" takes you on a psychedelic ride-"they might find us in a mountain grave/among the horses and the painted caves"-with a backdrop of heavy bass and howling harmonica that are from another era. And while I am not a big fan of piano ballads, the combination of piano, string arrangements and harmonica on "Innocents," blends so well that the lyrics about sunbeams and moonbeams doesn't come off as trite. The last track on the CD, "Doornail," ends with a nearly eight minute blues jam that reminded me of why I love the blues. Anders Parker did not reinvent the wheel with Tell It To The Dust but it definitely succeeds as an enjoyable listen.