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Bob McParland: Press

Bob McParland is a romantic poet at heart and it shows in its lyrics. His songs are reflections on love, encompassing joy, loss, and the questions after heartbreak we have all asked ourselves. His voice is full of emotion and quite unique.

Bob McParland has a poetic style, backed by a choir of angels on this album (Unresolved). Love- the force of it, the transience of it and the loss of it- is his main theme. This is nothing new, perhaps, but there are a number of different styles on this album.

Bob McParland's Unresolved is rich in feelings... His variable vocal style is terrific. This album is a shining example of what a roots artist can produce if he is willing to put his heart and soul into a project. We hope to hear a lot more from Bob McParland.
Creating Our Community
20th Anniversary Series: Q&A with Bob McParland

To mark the Outpost's 20th anniversary of producing concerts, the Outpost Reader is profiling some of the earliest volunteers, whose ideas, nurturing, and leadership helped shape the organization we're proud of today. Bob McParland was one of those earliest volunteers to have a role in booking concerts. He served on The Outpost Board of managers and, as a singer-songwriter-guitarist, performed at The Outpost. Bob has also worked as a journalist, wrote two books and many articles, including several about literature and popular music.

What made you decide to join the Outpost?
I didn't so much "join" the Outpost as formulate the Outpost with Steve, Beth, Rich, Joyce and others. One morning Rich and I were walking past the windows of a church in Bloomfield when he mentioned the idea. Some people in Montclair had been discussing the idea, he said. I'd played a lot of coffeehouses and was immediatelyu interested.

What were some of the goals or ideas that early members had for the organization?
Rich Pfeiffer once commented, "For many young adults, there is no place in their lives where they are truly known and accepted, no place where they can draw close without another pulling away, no place of hospitality." The Outpost was intended to be that place of welcome and belonging, a place of care and commitment and social concern...

How primitive were the early concerts? What was it like to learn concert production from scratch?
I think we need to chek our ideas of "progress." Sometimes simple is good and "primitive" societies have a lot to offer. We started with the singer-songwriter thing because we had access to this and it was affordable... We were grassroots and so was the music... It spoke to something we believed in: community, personal integrity, authenticity, commitment, and just good people. The Outpost is still about that.

When did you realize the concerts were starting to take on a life of their own?
When we moved some concerts into the larger space of the sanctuary. The booking was always something I did with Steve Cutaia. I remember being on the phone with an agent, Dave Tamulevich, and we worked out a package deal for John Gorka and patty Larkin. They drew a crowd and it turned out pretty well for them and for us. We were booking "name" performers then. I think that was when we started making the turn and gaining momentum.

Any moments stand out for you at community serive or social activities?
Habitat for Humanity in Newark was special: helping people make and build their homes and their future. It was good to present a musical production on Oscar Wilde's stories that I adapted in 1990, with music by Richard Shulman, and to work with Drew Willard and others on an interactive play. A place like The Outpost works best when people feel ownership and put their hearts and minds into making a contribution. Putting out a newsletter like this, helping out with an event, picking up a hammer for Habitat for Humanity: that's all part of it.
Bob McParland's need to write songs has the urgency of a vital biological drive. A stalwart of the area's folk music scene, McParland opens a concert at Fiddler's Meadow Coffeehouse at the meadowlands Environmental Center on Friday, September 10. The facility has a striking view of the skyline of New York City, where the songwriter has performed in coffeehouses and Greenwich Village clubs.
To bring the New York folk music scene closer to home, the Bergen County resident formed The Outpost in the Burbs in Montclair. McParland has been developing a recording, "Before the Coming Snow", in which he examines the human condition with stark frankness. The album features the work of flutist Patricia Davila, drummer Mike Baron, and bass guitarist Patrick Gallagher. To promote the album as well as his unique perspective, McParland has embarked upon a performance campaign that will take him from his old New York and New Jersey coffeehouse and club venues to new ones in Massachusetts and in California...
Jerry Jastrab - North Jersey Newspapers
I think that Bob McParland's music is moving and touching. His music sets me at ease when the stresses of life overwhelm me.
- Czeslaw
I am highly touched by all of Bob McParland's music and lyrics. Sometimes I find myself crying for no apparent reason. His music seems to touch the very soul of a person.
- Anonymous review from New Jersey.
(September 2005) - Tower Records Reviews