The country-blues unit the Michael Parrish Band was comprised of singer/guitarist/keyboardist Parrish, guitarists Chris Hansen and Jonny Sheehan, bassist Joe Engravalle, and drummer Tommy Kaelin. A Bay Area native, Parrish traveled to Chicago to tenure as the pianist for blues vocalist B.B. Odum before, at the urging of producer and folklorist Tim Duffy, moving to North Carolina to contribute to a series of blues field recordings later released as the Music Maker label's audiophile blues series. After touring with the likes of Guitar Gabriel and Big Boy Henry, Parrish also appeared on seven tracks on the 1995 LP A Living Past: The Music Maker Patron Sampler, followed later that year by Came So Far and Guitar Gabriel, Vol. 1. He and Duffy also teamed as a folk duo, the Puritans. After touring in support of Automobility, his 1995 debut solo effort (self-released on his Geographic Records label), Parrish returned to New York City, where he formed a band comprised of former Other Half members Hansen and Engraville, onetime Hatters drummer Kaelin, and occasional songwriter Sheehan; after issuing their 1997 disc Beautiful Rocks, the Michael Parrish Band played several dates on the H.O.R.D.E. tour.
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