That chocolate-voiced bassist from
"A voice halfway between melted chocolate and sex..." - CBC Radio
"Al Parish is a genius and you may quote me on that, what a voice!" - Bob Templeman, Tudor Folk, 2013
Al Parrish’s huge, charismatic stage presence, his boundless energy, and “that voice” brought fans to Tanglefoot shows across Canada, around the
US and throughout the UK, from the evening he first played with the band
in January of 1994, through to its final shows in December of 2009.
On January 15th 2011 at a sold-out show at the Registry Theatre, Paul Mills, legendary producer of Stan Rogers’ albums, recorded the whole evening for Al’s first solo CD, ‘Propensity for Joy’. Available now.
What to expect from an evening with Al Parrish: bags of stage presence for starters, a few tall stories, fabulous singing, good humour, some Tanglefoot songs, of course, but also a wide repertoire of traditional and contemporary songs from 'MacCrimmon's Lament' (in Gaelic) to 'When the Bass Players Took Over the World' via 'White Squall' , 'Fall Down Like the Rain' and Stephen Foster's 'Hard Times' with additional verses by Al.
On his first UK solo tour in 2012 the Tanglefoot fans turned out to see Al - and then kept coming back for more. His gig in Birdsedge, Yorkshire had people from as far away as Southampton and Blackpool - and for some of the audience it wasn't their first trip to see Al on this tour and they said it wasn't going to be their last. That's fan loyalty!
It seems inevitable that Al would end up in the entertainment business - his father, Don Parrish, achieved considerable renown both as a singer and broadcaster on the CBC and later for 25 years hosting CHFI's "Candlelight and Wine".
Al grew up in Toronto singing in church choirs and playing tuba in the high school band. A friend convinced him to join an after-school rock band by saying, "You play tuba, you could play bass," . So he did. His musical experience covers everything from pop, country, bluegrass, rockabilly, and rock & roll to heavy metal.
In 1989 that repertoire grew to include folk/roots when he and three friends created Brean Derg Muc, a Toronto-based, pseudo-Irish band that took the Ontario folk festival scene by storm and saw two years of brilliant success. Al's fondness for folk music outlasted the band, and after several years of freelancing with October Browne, Kirk Elliot, Aaron Solomon, Cape Breton singer/songwriter David Stone and many others, he was invited to join Tanglefoot and began playing with the band in January 1994. His arrival brought about a major infusion of energy for which Tanglefoot became known. Al plays a Lou Currah double bass nicknamed "The Beautiful Joe".
"I dont think Alice has stopped grinning since she heard you were touring the UK. Hard part is making her wait a year...look forward to seeing you again." - Monty
Sorry to disappoint but Al's going back to school from 2014 to 2016 to study the Broadcast Radio course at Conestoga College in Ontario.
He'll be available to tour with Ritchie Parrish Ritchie in 2016, but not for a solo tour until after school finishes.