CLARKSVILLE, TN (3/12/13) - It would be impossible to talk about Clarksville's music scene without mentioning Whiskey Angel.
Round up the four most exciting shows each month and their name will probably be listed in the top three. They've even been known to play two major venues in one night, closing out The Coup only to break down their equipment and set it up again down the road at The Warehouse.
You only have to see the four-piece once to understand why they get so much play.
Cody Parson fronts the band with an intensity that makes it impossible to take a smoke break during one of their sets - he marches around the stage, swinging his hair around and engaging the crowd like he was closer to the end of the whiskey bottle backstage than the beginning.
But that looseness - either inspired by liquor or maybe, and probably more likely, a passion for his art - never compromises the music.
No matter how hard the ship gets rocked by Parson, it stays afloat with Ian Cargill on guitar, Mark Easterling on bass, and Cody Suits on drums.
Your eyes might be trained on Parson for most of the show, but if you look to the supporting cast you'll see that their musical prowess is half of what makes Whiskey Angel great.
But Parson is a bit of a wonder to watch.
By the time you get 30 seconds into his stripped-down delivery of "Devil Song" you're left thinking he must be one of those frontmen that sling a guitar around his shoulder just to fit in - there's no way someone this good at writing and singing is going to be able to play.
But then after dropping "... she said a woman kind is a devil's hand," with just a bass drum backing him, he's suddenly beating down into a guitar solo, slapping that idea that he's just a singer out of your head.
And if Parson is more than just a singer, you could also say that Whiskey Angel contributes more than just music to Clarksvile.
They not only relentlessly perform in Clarksville - they regularly play at The Coup, The Warehouse, New South Coffee Company, Hookah 21, and most of the nerdHaus shows - but they personally go to the concerts that they're not performing at.
"That's what me and Ian really try and do, we try and make it every week," Parsons said between a double-header of performances this last Friday night.
"This scene has been really, really kind to us, and we've found a lot of people that have embraced what we do," Parson said.
It's rare to see the leading musicians of a scene so keen on supporting those bands still trying to get established. But Whiskey Angel is probably eager to support other bands because their band is a family affair itself.
"There's a lot of personal history between us in this band, between me and Ian," Parson said.
"We share a little brother and we didn't see each other for years, and I wound up calling him and saying, 'Hey we should start a rock n roll band.' Everything went together the same way because there was kind of a magic in it," Parson said.
See that magic at the Wild Wild Fest April 12-14 in Adams, Tennessee, or just hang around Clarksville long enough - it won't take long to find a Whiskey Angel show.
Editors Note: L.B. Black grew up in a place called Mukilteo, lives in Clarksville, and really wishes you would listen to more Modest Mouse.
Sugg Street Post
Written by L.B. Black
Photos by L.B. Black