The Colored Parade is the musical brainchild of Nashville, TN-based songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist Andrew Adkins. Mixing tapestries of sounds, atmospheric textures with lush vocal ambiance and a wide array of musical styles, flavors and elements all add up to create this fresh, new sound and vision called The Colored Parade. “I basically locked myself up in my studio with a few guitars, synths, keys, an assortment of percussion, an 808, a banjo, a sampler and a mandolin and this is what happened!” says Adkins. “I wanted to make an album with lots of shades, emotions, colors and moods constantly moving and shifting. That is where the name ‘Colored Parade’ came from.” The songs from The Colored Parade’s debut release, “…And The Walls Of The City Will Shake” blends and uniquely combines rootsy overtones with currents of electronic-synth, obscure samples, wailing undertones of pedal steel guitar, a barrage of horns with cascades of vocal harmonies. Ladies and gentlemen, The Colored Parade has arrived!
The Colored Parade Is:
Andrew Adkins – guitars, vocals, bass, keys, piano, synth, samplers, sitar, banjo, mandolin, percussion.
Rodney Russell – Additional drums (Please Be Kind, When The World’s Against Me, Hysterically Speaking)
Daryl Wayne Dasher – Additional Bass (When The World’s Against Me)
Zach Gooch – Trumpets
Anthony Paoletta – Pedal Steel
Being so immersed in the production of your most recent album, did the lack of human interaction (assuming there was) help or hurt? I think I work my best focused and in solitude. I am really easily distracted. I started the album late last Summer but didn’t work on it day in, day out. I started it and added here and there. From November-March though I hit it pretty hard. I try and keep a good balance of being social/anti-social when I am working on something. If you have too much of either, at least for me, it tends to turn out not so good.
Did you achieve what you set out to do with this album? I think so. I wanted to do a project on my own without much outside participation just so I can translate it as I hear it. In band situations or with other musicians, they tend to interpret your songs in their own way or style, which is fine. Sometimes it improves it.
However this time around, I wanted to try and translate it as close as I envisioned it. Therefore, I kept everything pretty autonomous. I had help from Rodney Russell (Mellow Down Easy) on drums for a few songs, Daryl Wayne Dasher played bass on a song. My dear friend Zach Gooch did all the trumpet parts and Tony Paoletta (Dixie Chicks, Elizabeth Cook, Travis Tritt) laid some pedal steel guitar on a few things.
Has being a producer for other artists (Like Chris Gantry) helped you with your own creative process when writing and recording your own material? Goodness, yes. Especially Chris. Recording his record is a blast. I learn something every session it seems. He is a very wise person as well as writer. The creativity he wields is like an endless current, very inspiring.
I get inspired in some way by all artists I work with. Everyone has their own unique regimen of how they get results and how they channel their muse. I am constantly learning how this all works, all the time. If I ever get to the point where I have nothing else to learn then what is the point of going forward? I feel that way with playing instruments, producing or any skill. You can never know “too much” or have “too much” insight.
What caused you to split ways with Mellow Down Easy? I think it was time to move on. We all 3 were in that band from day one and we just experienced all we could under that umbrella. I love those guys immensely. I will be bonded to them forever. We just grew up and needed to expand our horizons.
Looking back on your life and where you came from, has your situation helped you creatively and musical or did it make becoming a musician more difficult? I cannot think back to a time where music wasn’t an element in my surroundings. Music for me is as essential as breathing or eating. I grew up with my Dad having guitars around the house, playing them. He would play bluegrass music on the stereo – Bill Monroe, Stanley Brothers all the time. My Mother was a huge Country Western fan. She used to be friends with Marty Robbins (Grand Ole Opry member, Country Music Hall of Fame) and I used to hear his music, all the great, classic country music growing up – Waylon, Cash, Merle, Willie, Hank. They also turned me onto Elvis, Carl Perkins and CCR. My Aunt introduced me to Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly – all that classic early rock n’ roll. My cousins got me into KISS, Zeppelin, The Beatles and from there I just picked it up from friends and experience. I love discovering new artists and music as much as I enjoy creating it. It’s a constant circle. I love it! Music just is. I don’t look at it as difficult or easy. It just happens.
Can you tell me a little bit more on Our Brother The Horse? Our Brother The Horse is a project I am doing with Rodney Russell. It is along the same concept as The Colored Parade as in, just create. No boundaries or genre restrictions. However, stylistically and sound-wise – it is unlike anything I have ever done. It is all synth and samples mixed with acoustic percussion (played by Rodney Russell). Also I do not play guitar at all on this project. I am all keyboards and synthesizers. I don’t sing either. It’s all samples and instrumental. t’s a trip. We have tons of songs and ideas recorded. We just have to shave them down, edit them and decide where to take them to next. It’s almost a therapeutic process, making that kind of music. Free-form, improvisational psychedelic-electro art. I have no idea about a release date or when it will come out but definitely if not by the end of this year, next year for sure.
What are your plans for the rest of the year and when will we see you on the road? After The Colored Parade is released (May 6) I will do some shows solo and with a band. I don’t plan on doing much touring until the next album comes out. I am releasing a solo record in November/December and will probably get on the road a bit after that and play songs from that album along with The Colored Parade songs. The solo record will be more stripped down, folky, singer/songwriter type stuff – the way I write usually.