We had the good fortune of connecting with Robert Parker Jr. and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Robert, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
If you asked me about taking risks a few years ago, I’d have a completely different, more optimistic answer than I do now. I think the importance of taking risks is vast as a musician/performer – making connections to build your network, taking whatever gig you can to get some more exposure, etc.. These days those morals still stand true to me, however, there’s also an important part of trusting your gut that some people may forget to talk about these days. My view on risk nowadays is somewhat similar to the old story of, “what happens when you put a candy bar in front of a kid?” This goes for just about any and every venture in life – it’s important to surround yourself with people you trust. There are people around every corner that may try to coheres you, make you feel like a friend… just so they can get a taste of your talent and leave you on the sidewalk. It’s a lesson I had to learn the hard way, but a lesson that I HAD to go through one way or another. I lost friends and a part of myself in the process, but those friends came back (as true friends do) and I did the hard work to get myself back on my feet. I think the most overlooked trait that you gain in the good and bad times of taking risks is perseverance. As some of my heroes have said night after night over the years, you gotta Keep On Truckin’.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I started playing guitar at the age of 15, and once I got that bug it’s been with me ever since. Growing up through struggling times with the family, the blues just swaddled me like a baby. I’ve always been a rather emotional person, so to have an outlet where I can emote that pain is just pure bliss as funny as that may sound singing and playing about heartache. I’ve had my times where I slip in and out of the roles as both an introvert and extrovert, but in the end the goal as remained the same – just to play music, and hopefully grab people in the way that the blues grabbed me.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m a nature freak, so most of the times that I want to show anyone a TRULY great, liberating time I’ll take them on a trip. There’s nothing better, to me, than a beautiful hike with the most echoing silence of nature. Zion National Park has been a very special, sacred place for me for a number of years now. The serenity is just out of this world, and it gets me to come back time after time after time.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Anyone and everyone who has been close to my side and along for the ride through the years. So many to mention, but they know who they are.