Graham Parker’s fans have had ample opportunities to see him solo, or with his band The Rumour, over the years. But April 8 at the South Orange Performing Arts Center, he’ll give most of his New Jersey fans a chance to see him in a format they’ve never seen before: a two-man show with Rumour guitarist Brinsley Schwarz.
“We’ve been doing this duo thing in various parts of Europe, and the U.K.,” Parker told Jumpin’ JB of HomegrownRadioNJ.com in a recent interview (see below). “Last year, not too long ago, we did the West Coast (of the United States), so it was a no-brainer that we were going to do the East.”
The Rumour actually has three guitarists, with Parker and Martin Belmont also playing the instrument. But Schwarz’s style is jazzier and smoother than the others’.
“I think that my crude guitar playing — my sort of caveman style — and his more virtuoso style complement each other tremendously,” says Parker. “He’s not slick in any way, though. He may be very, very good, and can play some stunning stuff, but he makes mistakes. He’s human … he didn’t learn it from a book. So that fits with my music very well.
“He’s always been known as a parts man: Someone who gets the parts, and nails them, and doesn’t play anything else. But that’s sort of the surface. Undernearth it, there’s a lot more going on. I hear it all the time.”
Parker says that since he re-formed The Rumour for the albums Three Chords Good (2012) and Mystery Glue (2015), Schwarz has “taken quite a different approach to it, which is not learning the song too well, and really flying by the seat of his pants, which produces his best stuff.”
Parker and Schwarz will perform at the South Orange Performing Arts Center at 8 p.m. April 8, with My Darling Clementine opening; visit sopacnow.org.
Their April 7 show at the City Winery in New York is sold out, but they will return to the City Winery April 27; visit citywinery.com.
Here is the complete HomegrownRadioNJ.com interview: