February 05, 2013
Jefferson "Chuckie P." Parrish is a local musician who was born and raised in Atlanta. The Georgia Southern University alumnus was raised in a musically inclined family. His father was a country musician for 20 years, which he says helped nurture his musical abilities. However, he strayed from country and eventually settled into the hard rock scene with the local band No Trust as the lead singer and bass player.
Chuckie P.'s talents are as multifaceted and animated as his personality. Gifted with the guitar — which he is known to play behind his back — he also can navigate a variety of other instruments, from the piano and harmonica to banjo and mandolin, to even the occasional, quirky accordion.
During live performances, Chuckie P. doesn’t stick to a single genre of music. Instead, he adapts, depending on the venue and the crowd, and he’s always open to requests.
“The thing I try to do the most is crowd interaction,” he said.
Those requests range from the classics like “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Wagon Wheel” to what he describes as his weirdest request: Motown.
“I didn’t know who to reference,” he said.
Chuckie P. is also known for his wide-ranging and intricate medleys, which at times can incorporate up to 10 songs, originating from a variety of musical genres.
“[I] like to cover a broad spectrum. I can play anything,” he said. “If I can’t remember lyrics, I’ll play the music by ear.”
He likes to think of himself as an “amateur Zach Deputy” because he incorporates equipment and an iPad into his performances, which can repeat sections of sound material, giving him the ability to perform as a truly “one-man band.”
At a recent live performance, what started out as “Sweet Home Alabama” seamlessly segued into Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the USA,” then into Kid Rock’s “All Summer Long.” From there, he fused the “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” theme song with Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It” in a nod to the nineties before finally moving back in to “Sweet Home Alabama.”
“That’s what I love about my job — it’s never the same,” he said. “I play something different each time.”
Don’t be fooled, though — Chuckie P.'s musical repertoire extends farther than covers. After years of playing and establishing a steadfast following, he released a new album, appropriately titled “Radio Funk,” which features his theme song, “Badass Mama Jama.”
“The biggest rush is when people ask for your songs. [There is] no better feeling than people singing along,” he said.
Despite his seemingly endless talents and tattooed appearance, Chuckie P. is as humble and personable as musicians come.
“[My] best advice? Stick with your passion,” he said. “I don’t care about making a lot of money. Music is my life.
“If I can be the gateway drug to someone beginning to play music, that’s awesome.”