Across two decades of brilliant recordings and rousing live shows, Graham Parker's music has kept one loafer in his U.K. homeland and the other in his musical inspiration: America. His new release puts both feet on the latter's soil. Your Country is an All-American, country-flavored collection on the nation's most alt-countrified label, Chicago's home of insurgent twang, Bloodshot. Having mastered barroom rock, blue-eyed soul and Chuck Berry-style rock on his earliest platters (Howling Wind, Heat Treatment and Stick to Me are essential Brit-filtered American music), Parker's embracing of country makes sense today. He's stepping "Back to School Days," to the one roots genre he's never gotten around to, and injecting it with his signature, still-chipper outlook. What doesn't make sense, however, is that an artist of Parker's stature is playing at the humble Lion's Lair. But the intimate setting is a special treat for local music fans. It's a rare opportunity to get up-close and personal with a living master, a few stiff drinks and the perfect music for celebrating them both.
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