Junk Parlor Releases First Single “Mick Jagger’s Heart” From Upcoming Album
Junk Parlor has been considered a galvanizing force on the Bay Area indie rock scene ever since it was launched serendipitously in 2013. The sound was born from the wild musical wanderings of Jason Vanderford, who is renowned for his five years of recording and touring with gypsy jazz sensation, The Hot Club of San Francisco. Junk Parlor’s energizing musical collage includes 50’s rock and roll rumbling atop gypsy rhythms, a bit of Gipsy Rhumba, tango, Eastern Euro/Hungarian music, belly dance, and punk.
Based on their two earlier releases (their 2013 debut Wild Tones and its 2015 follow-up Melusina), Junk Parlor has been compared to such diverse acts as Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, Gogol Bordello, the Dead Kennedys and Tom Waits. Vanderford was raised on “rock and roll and punk and everything under the sun,” so other sounds are certain to appear as the gypsy junk rockers continue their jam.
Vanderford also plays acoustic banjo and rhythm guitar, and is joined by the group’s co-founder, RT Goodrich, on drums and cajon, Laela Peterson-Stolen on violin and viola and Tim Bush on fretless bass.
The new single, “Mick Jagger’s Heart” was inspired by the Rolling Stone’s “Dear Doctor.” Vanderford described it as “when the heartache of Leonard Cohen decides to lament under the sun amidst the California surf.” The video for the single, both of which are being released on May 27, is skillfully directed by Jeannie Jo, using scenes of San Francisco cityscapes as a metaphor for heartbreak. Click on the links to check them out.
As Vanderford tells it, Junk Parlor began almost by accident. Vanderford had emerged as one of the Bay area’s “go-to” musicians in the years following his time with The Hot Club of San Francisco. Bush, his uncle, asked him to play an acoustic gig but Vanderford would only agree if Bush played bass for him. Shortly thereafter, they were joined by Goodrich, who wanted to create a group with Vanderford and Bush. Vanderford explained, “I was hesitant but asked him to sit in with me for a few months. Then he shows up one day saying he booked the band. I told him we didn’t have a name and he said we better get one. So then I took it seriously.”
The clever band name came from his younger days, when his bedroom stored his collection of vintage furniture and pictures he’d bought at antique stores. He vowed then that if he ever had a band of his own, he would call it what he called that space: Junk Parlor.
Junk Parlor’s members have played the gamut of festivals and prestigious venues including Outside Lands, Kate Wolfe Fest, Djangofest, Gaia Fest and SXSW. Vanderford has played, recorded and toured with the Americano Social Club, The Hot Club of San Francisco, Clint Baker’s New Orleans Jazz Band, Little Charlie’s Caravan, Avatar Ensemble and Seth Ford Young Quartet, while Goodrich has laid down rhythms and toured with Staggerwing, Beso Negro and Standing Room Only. Meanwhile, Bush has played extensively with Danny Montana, Sweetie Pie and the Doughboys, Chuck Day, Sam Andrew, Jim Martin, and Freddie Roulette.
Looking ahead, Vanderford says that the new album, which will include “Mick Jagger’s Heart,” will build upon what Junk Parlor has been doing since day one. “Our first two records are simply two sides of the same coin,” he says. “I am looking forward to our next project as we already have all the songs and have been playing them out and getting a wonderful response. This one will include a few instrumentals, but have more of an emphasis on vocals.
“What I’m learning through all of these recording and performing experiences is that it doesn’t matter if you’re a jazz musician, singer or dancer, the goal is always telling a great story. I love getting out there and hearing people’s stories and then transforming those into songs that can be interpreted in unique ways by the band, dancers and everyone in the audience that it touches.”