Americana Highways is hosting this premiere of Parker Smith’s song “High Road” from his forthcoming album Underground. The record was co-produced by Colin Agnew and Noah Kess; mixed by Noah Kess; mastered by Greg Obis at Chicago Mastering Service with photography by Alex Glustrom and graphic design by Roger Baldowski.
“High Road” is Parker Smith on guitars, bass, and lead vocals; Colin Agnew on drums, percussion, and background vocals;
and John Kingsley on pedal steel. Elsewhere on the album you’ll find Christopher Case on keys, Mimi Naja on mandolin, Kelly McFarling on background vocals and Zac Evans on sax.
Recorded during Quarantine.
With lots of country pedal steel swing, Parker Smith will draw you into his song about falling and picking yourself up again.
‘High Road’ was the first tune I recorded for the album. At this point, I wasn’t setting out to record an LP but was just experimenting in my new studio. I ended up re-recording all of the guitars, and it took a while to get the finished product on this one. I initially recorded the guitars straight into the computer with some amp presets, but it wasn’t locking in for me. So I asked my engineer Noah Kess to recommend a couple of mics for acoustic and electric, and he steered me in the right direction to get the tone I was looking for.
After I finished re-recording everything, I played it for my wife, and we agreed there was still something missing. She then said, “this could really use some pedal steel,” so I called up my buddy (and former bandmate) John Kingsley. John plays in a band called The Brevet, based out of California, and he took a couple of passes on the track and nailed it. ‘High Road’ is the only tune with pedal steel, but I think it helps set up the record’s vibe. His solo and licks throughout add so much to the song.
I’m not sure where I heard the quote, but someone said, ’…there’s less traffic on the high road’, which resonated with me: the road less traveled can also be the one of least resistance. Lyrically, the song comes from that feeling that you can’t catch a break. Those days where you can’t do anything right and nothing is going your way. It’s also about getting out of your own way and letting go. Sometimes the best way to make things happen is to let them happen. – Parker Smith