In August 2020 writer, guitarist and vocalist Walter Parks was invited by The Library of Congress to archive his research on and perform his arrangements of music made by southeast Georgia’s Okefenokee Swamp homesteaders – hollers, hymns and reels. For 10 years Parks, a Florida native, served as the sideman guitarist to Woodstock Festival legend Richie Havens. Now based out of St. Louis, Walter has recently co-written with Stan Lynch, former Tom Petty drummer, a single released with his americana spirituals project called The Unlawful Assembly co-founded by drummer Steven Williams. Walter also tours with his own trio Swamp Cabbage and with his solo show Swamp By Chandelier.
Edan Archer's swampy sensibilities come through loud and clear in the grooves of Journey Proud, her voice is sultry as sweet tea and crackles like the ever-present heat lightning of her Everglades upbringing. All moonshine and honey, she gets gritty with dulcimer magic and casts spells with intimate ballads and fingerpicking, alternate tunings, and rich effects. As she pulls from her varied influences--Appalachian folk, country, and rock, she creates music that's familiar yet fresh, music that reflects the listener's life experiences back to them.
There are swampy songs, honky-tonk tunes, alt-country cruisers, and a samba-tinged nod or two to her Cuban heritage on Journey Proud, woven together with her direct lyrical challenges to society's idea of gender roles and femininity, her throwback vocal vibrato, and fiery fingerpicking. She sings of heartbreak, rebellion, substance abuse, hard work, and spirituality--a micro-verse of American life told through American musical styles. Journey Proud encompasses tales of addiction, death, and even a bank robbery (a true story)--the subjects may be tough, but it's a beautiful listen.
Archer has performed at Stagecoach, SXSW, Americanafest, Canadian Music Week and more. She plays both solo and with her band.