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Max Heine

Young singer preaches an offbeat ‘Truck Stop Gospel’

| March 03, 2014

Note the many truck stop chapels and the ministries devoted to reaching drivers, and it’s obvious that trucking’s long had ties to Christianity. A fine new album by a young Oklahoman raised in the Pentecostal church doesn’t explore trucking so much as it does religion, though one blazing cut illuminates the intersection of both.

Parker Millsap performs at the Soundcheck studio in New York City.

Parker Millsap performs at the Soundcheck studio in New York City.

The self-titled Parker Millsap album “unpacks the complex symbiosis between faith, fear, desperation and repentance,” writes reviewer Kim Ruehl, whose excerpt appears on the National Public Radio website. “In ‘Truck Stop Gospel,’ his narration is so astute it’s impossible to tell what side he’s on — not that it matters.”

Consider this verse:

“Parking lot lady wants me to let her climb in

It’s ‘my kind of truck,’ the kind she could ‘have a good time in’

She jumped up, but before she could even chime in

Well, I was speaking in the Holy Spirit

Cast that demon out, I could hear it 


The Soundcheck podcast site writes that considering he’s only 21, “Parker Millsap’s voice has a remarkable whiskey-tinged world-weariness of songwriters decades his senior.” I’d add that his clean-cut, boyish face likewise belies his growling, energetic delivery.

Art of Parker Millsap shown on his Facebook page.

Art of Parker Millsap shown on his Facebook page.

You can stream “Truck Stop Gospel” from NPR. For another song, listen to Millsap and his band perform “Disappear” in the Soundcheck studio. And for more background, check out Millsap’s Facebook page.

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How about any driver-musicians out there who can bring their own road-worn experience to a performance?

Overdrive is considering a driver music contest and we’re looking to hear from aspiring singers. Let us know if you’d be interested in competing. And if you’ve got an audio or video clip, or link to one, send it:


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