Deseret News: "Taking It to the Streets"
"... While Main Street's regulars have been kind to Jones, blues guitarist Zack Parrish has not had quite as warm a reception outdoors in Salt Lake City. He's played on the streets of San Francisco and Venice Beach, as well as the famous Beale Street in Memphis. But he says here in his hometown, people have been rude. 'Salt Lake wants to be this new cosmopolitan kind of groovy place, but it's attitude toward street performers is archaic,' Parrish said. He claims street performers are often treated like panhandlers. 'If we want a hip, groovy place to live, we need to have a more open mind towards the fringe element of the big city.' Parrish plays bottleneck-style blues standards on national steel guitar and sings with a reedy, no-nonsense voive. He sports a handlebar mustache and dances with broad angular moves, attracting a crows wherever he plays. However, he also sometimes attracts security guards. 'I was appalled at the treatment I received at the Utah Arts Festival,' said Parrish, explaining that after he'd played for a few minutes, event security asked him to leave. They also wanted to confiscate the $50 he made. 'As they were pusing me around, I happened to be reading a brochure that said "street performers abound at the Utah Arts Festival."' Parrish also brings his blues to Burt's Tiki Lounge on State Street, sometimes by himself and sometimes with a band. On Tuesday nights, he often hosts 'blues night' there. He lives the summers in Salt Lake City and travels for much of the rest of the year, playing on the streets of major cities where he says he's better appreciated. Perhaps Jones' smile and friendly attitude has helped him make it on Salt Lake's streets. While still an anomaly, street performers will probably continue to grow in number along with the city. While some may not be ready to 'take their acts on the road,' others, like Jones and Parrish, add to the ambiance and put a spring in pedestrians' steps."
Rick Mortensen, August 1998
Salt Lake City Weekly: "NXNW 2000 Finals"
"The long tall guitar man with the handlebar moustache gave everyone a run for their money with the bare necessities of rock & roll—pure blues and a house full of music lovers primed with alcohol. The Zack Parrish Blues Band—sometimes a trio, but this night fleshed out with keyboards and blues harp—compacts New Orleans, Delta, jump, country and practically any other strain of blues you can name into a tight, dangerous package. The party frenzy whipped up by Parrish had more than a few folks-in-the-know convinced that he was going to come out on top of the competition, while others suggested he’d make a killing in the Big Easy. Random judge comments: 'Lots of energy, a really fun live show.' 'Rivals any Southern blues band—they should be making a living in a large metro area.' Total score: 190."
Bill Frost, June 2000
Deseret News: "Pay Heed to Power and Blues"
"Last Sunday, as I was eating breakfast with my father on the Santa Monica beach, and he leaned over and told me that his perception of reality will never be the same again. That's because, thanks to my persuasive influence, he purchased the "Godfather" trilogy on video. Now, my dad says the world is a totally different place. Everywhere he looks, instead of seeing old men, he sees a potential don. And he is even wondering about his past clientele and their true occupations. We sat in silence for a few minutes as we enjoyed the view of a girl on the beach trying to kick-box. But what really got me is that my dad bought the movies just because I had been watching them all New Year's Eve day. Of course, my mother bought the movie "Office Space" simply because I told her how funny it was, and because she had seen it on sale at Costco. Then, the whole idea of power clouded my reason. For a split second I felt like the most powerful person ever. I had persuaded my father to buy movies that have overtaken his once boylike mind and darkened it with Mafia stuff. Which got me to thinking about my column. I used to take the high road. I believed I wrote this column because it was a fun thing to do, a good creative outlet. But really, it's the power. I should really take advantage of this dizzying position and tell you all about the new SXSW winner, the Zach Parrish Blues Band. Zach Parrish is this very tall man with a Wyatt Earp mustache and a screaming talent for playing the blues. When he speaks, he has this drawl, and he sounds as if he grew up somewhere in the delta or on the bayou. Zach learned to play the guitar when he was 6. He took a few lessons, read those self-teaching books, watched videos and learned by ear. He says he doesn't know why he picked the blues, because he really likes all kinds of music, but the blues just seemed to stick. It really is rare to have a blues guitarist from Utah. Well, that's what Zach says. He says that people outside our fair state are usually floored when he plays because they can't fathom someone from Utah being able to sound the way he does. And the way Zach sounds has been categorized as old-school-Southern-country-delta-blues. He takes old blues standards and obscure blues and tweaks them a bit to fit a modern-day band, and he writes his own songs as well. He says he doesn't like the regionalizing of blues, because someone from Chicago could play Texas blues like no other, and vice versa. I think Zach's good. I like his stuff. I think all of you should too, which is exactly what I said to my father about "The Godfather." So, I'm telling you. Find Zach. Listen to his band when it plays at Burt's Tiki Lounge on Tuesday nights. Ahhh, the power of persuasion."
Lucy Campbell, January 2001
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