A duo known as The Fabulous Parks Brothers will be making their debut at The Porch Carryout & Grill in Hillsboro on Saturday, June 4 with sets starting at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
The two brothers, Jeff and John Parks, perform music by artists ranging from Cream and Tom Petty to Mississippi Delta Blues performers like Willie Dixon. “We cover a wide gamut,” said Jeff, the singer of the duo. “You would call us blues folk to blues rock to blues throughout the whole set, so that’s kind of the spectrum that we work in.”
Jeff Parks said he and his brother have been playing and singing around campfires for more than 40 or 50 years. Their foray into music began as elementary school children when they were taken by their mother to take guitar lessons from an Austrian instructor in east Dayton.
“After about a year, I retired because it was so obvious I struggled,” said Jeff Parks, who lives in the Rocky Fork Lake area. “I was not a guitar player, and I had to watch my brother who had this beautiful sense of rhythm and just took to it like a duck to water.”
The guitar instructor taught a fingerstyle playing method and forbade students from using guitar picks. To this day, John Parks uses a slack blues method of playing that involves using his fingernails on the strings. “So, he has a slightly unusual sound from other guys,” said Jeff Parks. “As a blues slack guitar player, you hear him one night, and you’ve heard a slightly different version of how a guitar gets played.”
Jeff Parks said he began singing again a couple of years ago. “I discovered over time I had developed an entirely new register in my voice,” he said.
Since the brothers are both retired, they have been afforded the opportunity to devote their attention to music. “We finally have the time to do basically whatever we want, and this is what we want,” said Jeff Parks.
John Parks, who resides in Ross County, served as a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps before his 40-year career as a factory automation engineer while Jeff Parks spent his career as a salesman and broadcaster.
Jeff Parks said their different worldviews don’t get in the way of the camaraderie shared by the pair. “There is too much division in our country, and it’s nuts,” he said. “I basically lean toward Democratic progressive viewpoints, and my brother basically leans toward Republican viewpoints, but anybody who watches us knows we love each other. You’re going to see a couple of genuine brothers who care about each other, and we think that’s a plus.”
Parks said the name of the duo is not intended to be boastful. “As a group we try and work from this place where everybody you’ve ever met and everybody you’ll ever meet has something about them that’s fabulous,” he said. “We’re all fabulous in some way, and let’s have a good time together with that in mind.”
The pair will also be performing at The Porch the evening of June 15. “We also have a third one booked, and we’re looking at possibilities down the road,” said Parks.
Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.