Now four albums in at the ripe age of 24, Oklahoma-born singer-songwriter Parker Millsap has earned the chance to live his life as a professional musician.
His work has been hailed by global audiences and industry alike while taking him to esteemed stages around the world. His three prior full-length releases—2012's "Palisade," 2014's self-titled LP and 2016's "The Very Last Day" — showcased a mastery of acoustic folk rock, all recorded with precision, purpose and efficiency.
But as he began work last year on the fourth album, "Other Arrangements," Millsap opted for a change, allowing himself the time and space to let the work evolve in a new light.
"I was learning to trust my instincts and to not second-guess myself, and let the process take me there," Millsap says. "I had to remind myself that I'm allowed to have a good time, and not to be so serious all the time.
"My fiddle player, Dan, always says, 'It's not about the destination, it's the journey,' and it's true. I've done this enough times that I can make this work, I can make it good. Trust the process and your instincts, and learn to trust the universe. So, this is the first record I feel entirely comfortable putting out into the world. We were just trying to catch a bit of the magic of guys in a room figuring it all out in the moment."
The result is Millsap's most accessible collection of songs to date.
Millsap brings his tour in support of "Other Arrangements" to Songbirds on Saturday night for a solo performance.
"For me, this record is about trying to write pop songs," he says. "When I say 'pop' I mean how a Beatles record was pop music: the songs provide a variety of musical and emotional information. There are funny, sad and happy moments; multiple tempos; ballads; rock 'n' roll songs. It's a radio playlist for 45 minutes, trying to hit a bunch of touchstones.
"Like I usually tell strangers who ask, 'I play rock 'n' roll music but I have a fiddle player, too.' That seems to get to the point."