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Brent Parkin

Category : Calgary Bluesfest
Aug 19, 2020

Brent Parkin is a veteran of the Winnipeg music scene and has been playing for audiences in Winnipeg and across Canada for well over 40 years.

Brent's music is a mix of Chicago style Blues, Swing, Roots music with some Country and Roots Rock and Roll thrown in for good measure. He is comfortable playing with his band whether it be a 3 piece or up to 7 piece, solo or duo.

Check out YouTube for videos including a performance with the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra 20 piece band or his solo version of Kingfish Blues.

In the early 70s Brent co-founded several popular blues bands including the popular band Houndog in 1976.

In the last 43 years he has been part of the backup bands for such legends as Bo Diddley, Gatemouth Brown, Otis Rush, Billy Boy Arnold, Johnnie Johnson and Jimmy T99 Nelson and many more. As well as opening shows for such greats as James Cotton, Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy, John Prine just to name a few. A career highlight was sharing the tour bus and stage with BB King and his band as his opening act on a Western Canadian tour in 1983.

Brent has played venues across Canada, including numerous appearances at the Winnipeg Folk Festival, where he played and shared many workshop stages with a lot of great artists. This experience has come in handy when doing shows in schools and such.

Over the years he has appeared on many TV and radio shows. Some of the most memorable were 90 Minutes Live CBC with Peter Gzowski, and Jimmy King Presents CTV's Live at the Warehouse. His original songs, Goodbye Canadian Penny and Brown Water Blues were also featured on CBC Radio Up To Speed Winnipeg and CBC National Radio As It Happens in 2012-13.

In 2008 Brent appeared in the highly successful play, Mesa, for the Prairie Theatre Exchange in Winnipeg, providing the musical landscape, singing and acting. A few years later he repeated that role for a version of Mesa by Theatre North West in Prince George BC.

A few honours have come Brent's way over the years, including the 1993 Juno Award for his performance on Saturday Night Blues CBC Compilation, 1996 & 1999 Maple Blues Award Nominations, 2013 & 2014 Maple Blues Award Nominations for the Blues With A Feeling Award (Lifetime Achievement), and a 2011 Western Canada Music Award Nomination in the Blues Category for Brent Parkin Vintage Rhythm. Quotes:

It is the great Amos Garrett who without hesitation calls Parkin "a guitarist's guitarist". Tom Lavin of Powder Blues refers to Brent as "Canada's Duke Robillard", while Downchild's Don Walsh states, "Brent Parkin is one of a handful of Canadian artists who has been keeping this music alive and well in our country for almost as long as we have."