Parker Millsap’s laugh is as easy as his guitar chords are powerful. When chatting with the singer-songwriter, the Oklahoman couldn’t stop chuckling. “I’m in a good mood,” Millsap says while calling from Ohio.
After making a name for himself as an Americana artist, Millsap cranks it up with his latest album, the aptly titled “Other Arrangements.”
Millsap, who will bring his solo act March 29 to the Cat’s Cradle Back Room, demonstrates that he is an emerging guitar hero while backed by a big backbeat. Millsap reveals what prompted the change, what he’ll perform in Raleigh and why he catches as many concerts as he can.
Q: What inspired the tunes driven by the electric guitar?
A: I just wrote a lot more rock and roll songs. I was writing these upbeat songs, and we added a drummer. A great way to utilize him was to write these rocking songs. I have written plenty of ballads for my first three or four records. It was about time for me to come up with some songs that I can tap my feet to.
Q: Now you’re in position to have a varied set. What’s it like being able to deliver an eclectic show?
A: It’s great. When I look at the Beatles, they were all over the place. Their records have fun songs, sad songs and angry songs. I totally get it. I try to take the listener to different places.
Q: Your shows do the same. You engage the crowd and it’s often a transformative experience.
A: I try to accomplish that. My idea of a great show is when I can get the audience so into it that everybody transcends.
Q: When was the last time that you transcended at a concert, while in the audience?
A: It was when I saw Paul McCartney at ACL (Austin City Limits in Austin) last year. Paul headlined and I was about a football field away from him but it was still so cool. I was in a crowd of about 80,000 people and we were all singing ... That was like church to me. ... It was ‘Hey Jude.’ We all went to another place with that song. It was amazing. You catch Paul McCartney and it’s just magical.”
Q: Will you play any unrecorded material when you return to Raleigh?
A: I don’t have a ton of new material but I will play two new songs that I’ve written. I’m hoping to finish a few more songs so I can have an album ready to go soon. I try to put out an album every two years.
Q: Since you’re such a music fan, who would you like to see live?
A: Tom Waits is at the very top of my list. I was told that no matter how expensive the ticket is, go ahead and buy it. I’ve never seen a whole Willie Nelson show. I would love to see him.
Q: How is possible that you’ve never experienced Willie when you play at his ranch in Spicewood, Texas, almost every March?
A: I know. I think the last time I was there, I played during the day and had a show that night. Hopefully I’ll see Willie and also Bob Dylan live. I got to go to as many shows as I can.
Who: Parker Millsap
When: March 29, 8 p.m.
Where: Cat’s Cradle Back Room, 300 E. Main St., Carrboro
Tickets: Sold out
Info: 919-967-9053 or catscradle.com