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FAME Review: Peter Parcek - The Mathematics of Love
Peter Parcek - The Mathematics of Love

The Mathematics of Love

Peter Parcek

Redstar/Vizztone Records - 81131 00138

Available from

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

I make no bones about my love of dirty white blues nor of a claim that Peter Green was hands-down the best blues guitarist ever, #1 blues axeman period. I don't know who I'd place second, never took matters that far, but Rory Gallagher figures heavily in the running. What they did spoke to my progressive nature in all things, and while Buddy Guy, Albert King, Elmore James, Bobby Parker, and various of the smoking hot black players can wrap me around every pole in sight, Peter, Rory, Eric, Stan Webb, and others just got me where I live. Maybe I'm too white for my own damn good.

Of course, there's always Jimi, the god of all gods when it comes to guitar, so things tend to balance out.

Well, I saw Hendrix and Peter Parcek saw Green, so he's one of the few people on this planet that I have to envy in this lifetime. However, when he opened this disc with Fleetwood Mac's Show-Biz Blues, I knew things were gonna be damn good. In fact, Parcek was in England during that whole revolutionary period and picked up on every second of the entire wavefront, showing it in spades here. I'm hearing Groundhogs, Savoy Brown, Chicken Shack, but mostly a very heavy mutant strain all his own, as the instrumental Rollin' with Zah demonstrates, culling even from the old Baby, Scratch My Back Slim Harpo chicken-pickin' days before going bugfuck berserk (excuse my French)…and this cat can burn!

There's also a ton of psychedelic phasing and various other period studio sonics going on. Interestingly, the gent's singing voice sometimes reminds me of a clear-voiced Leon Redbone and then of Green himself (listen to Tears Like Diamonds with your eyes closed and you'll swear it's a cut Mike Vernon missed in the sumptuous F. Mac Blue Horizon box set). Then Parcek takes Lucinda Williams' Lord Help the Poor and Needy and turns it inside out in a stunning display of virtuosity and soul. Not a moment of this CD is less than jaw-dropping for its mind-bending meld of every possible mode from the 50s up to ten minutes ago…though, really, the entirety of The Mathematics of Love is a matter of the 60s and 70s being played one more time for all they're worth, full fury and dripping with blown-out inventiveness. This guy must be unfuckingreal in concert…excuse my French.

Fair warning to FAME readers, if I keep getting material this damn good, I'm going to have to expand my year's end Top 10 List to a Top 20 or 30, maybe 100, or just drop it altogether because I'll pop an aneurism trying to pick and choose from such a wealth of great music. Im telling ya, if you're not listening to the independent labels, you haven't Clue One what you're missing.

Fuck the mainstream.

Excuse my Française.

Track List:

  • Showbiz Blues (Peter Green)
  • The Mathematics of Love (Peter Parcek)
  • Rollin' with Zah (Peter Parcek)
  • Lord, Help the Poor and Needy
  • Get Right with God (Lucinda Williams)
  • Tears Like Diamonds (Peter Parcek)
  • Kokomo Me, Baby (Fred McDowell)
  • New Year's Eve (Parcek / Herwaldt)
  • Busted (Harlan Howard)
  • Evolution (Cousin Joe Plesant)

Edited by: David N. Pyles


Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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